Stem cell injections involve taking the adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) and the growth factors from platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and then injecting that combination into the affected joint or tissue.
The procedure starts with obtaining the PRP by drawing 20-60 cc of a patient’s blood and then processing the sample in the centrifuge. While the PRP is being processed, the stem cells from the adipose tissue (fat tissue) are prepared.
The collection of adipose tissue is a minimally invasive procedure that is performed in the clinic office. It begins with cleaning, draping and anesthetizing the area where the adipose tissue will be drawn from—usually the lower abdomen, but may be from the buttock or flank.
Lidocaine mixed with saline is used to further numb the area under the skin and then a syringe is used to gently aspirate a small volume of fat tissue. Most commonly, 20 mL to 40 mL is needed.
The adipose tissue from the syringe is placed into a medical device designed to concentrate the collection to enrich for mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and other beneficial cell types. These adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) are combined with the PRP and injected into the affected joint or tissue.
The entire procedure takes about 1 hour from start to finish. Typical follow-up is 8 weeks after the procedure.
Toronto PRP and Stem Cell uses the SmartPrep® system for PRP and the AdiPrep® system for ADSCs, both from Harvest® Terumo BCT.