FINDING A STEM CELL CLINIC
With the significant increase in stem cell research, there has been an explosion of stem cell clinic throughout the United States. While stem cell clinics provide a myriad of services, you can feel overwhelmed with the choices presented to you. You must do serious research when finding a stem cell clinic that fits your unique and specific treatment needs.
By not doing due diligence in your research, you run the risk of choosing a treatment center that is inappropriate for your specific condition. This can result in misdiagnosis and treatment protocols that will do more harm that good. The following are the top 10 considerations to keep in mind when finding the perfect stem cell clinic:
The stem cell clinic you are looking at must have the proper accreditation. You need to look for facilities with IRB (Institutional Review Board) Approval. Providers also need to be fully trained and engage in continuous education to keep up with advances in stem cell therapy techniques for a variety of injuries and illnesses
Countless studies of complex medical procedures have one common denominator, which is that the more experience medical professionals have with a procedure, the better the results. This also applies to stem cell-based procedure. When you look at a specific clinic, it is important to ask staff how long they been using stem cells to treat your particular condition. Ideally, you should look for clinics who have performed stem cell procedures which number in the hundreds.
Another consideration in looking for the right stem cell treatment facility is finding staff who have accreditation and are specifically trained to administer stem cell services for your specific condition. Simply stated, greater training means better results with little to no chance of complications. Physicians who perform a stem cell injection in a specific body part have current board certification with an emphasis on specialty training with injected based care in the part of the body you need help.
There is More than One Stem Cell Type
You need to beware of stem cell clinics that claim they can treat a variety of chronic conditions with just one cell type. Be wary of those clinics that claim they can treat your knee injury with cells that are in a part of your body that is different than the areas that need to be treated. Treatment staff at reputable stem cell clinics always perform a comprehensive and thorough evaluation to see if a certain procedure will truly effective in treating your knee condition.
What is the Clinic’s Stem Cell Harvesting Techniques?
The process of extracting stem cells from your body requires great care and expertise. First and foremost, you must ask a prospective clinic if they use fluoroscopic or ultrasound guidance to draw stem cells. Secondly, you need to ask a prospective stem cell clinic if they use a reputable cell biology lab to ensure they are using proper techniques. Additionally, you need to ask how they know how many cells they have. You must also ask if they have an in-house lab which is capable of counting the stem cells that are extracted, and they are culturing samples to make sure the physician is taking quality samples.
Does the Clinic have an In-house Lab That Validates Their Cell Extraction Techniques?
Once stem cell tissues are extracted, the next step often involving enriching or purifying a specific portion of those tissues that contain the highest concentration of vital stem cells. The cells that are extracted may also be cultured further in order to achieve more cells. With the different cell types, clinics must use extraction techniques that are specific to a certain cell. You need to ask if the physician knows that the processing technique that is being used produces viable stem cells.
You also need to ask the physician at the clinic you are looking at if they know if the cells that were extracted were sent out for thorough verification and testing. Make sure the stem cell clinic has done its own verification; do not rely on reports that someone did verification.
How Sophisticated Are Their Labs?
Reputable stem cell clinics utilize sophisticated cell biology labs that are dedicated to the facility. There are labs that will utilize bedside kits. If a clinic is using one of these kits, you need to ask if they are using a “closed” or “open” system. Closed systems are those kits in which cells never touch the outside environment. Open systems are shaker kits which are regularly purchased by physicians and run the risk of contamination.
Does the Clinic Publish Data on a Regular Basis?
Reputable stem cell clinics regularly publish data regarding the efficacy of their treatments. Stem cell therapies are created through a long and difficult process. Facilities need to report how treatments are impacting a person’s quality of life. They also need to show they are improving stem cell treatments for the knee. Facilities that don’t report on the efficacy of their treatments most likely have protocols that are ineffective and can do you more harm than good.
Beware of the Hype
Most importantly, treatment centers that state that stem cells are a cure are misleading you. The reality is that no treatment procedure is 100% effective. Look for a stem cell clinic that sets realistic expectations and continually works toward improving their services. The bottom line is that reputable clinics strive to improve the quality of life for all their patients. Treatment facilities that are concerned more with profits and their bottom line need to be avoided.