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Stem Cell Therapy

Stem Cell TherapyThe phrase "Stem Cell Therapy" has been vilified in the past, but Adipose Derived Stem Cell Therapy is far from the controversial procedure you may be envisioning.  Instead, it is a beacon of hope to patients with osteoarthritis and chronic mobility issues and we are excited to offer it in our arsenal of pain management procedures.

There are two main categories of stem cells, embryonic and adult.  Embryonic stem cells are derived directly from embryonic tissue and are the most controversial type of stem cells used in medicine today.  Our procedure utilizes adult stem cells, most commonly harvested from bone marrow or adipose (fat) tissue.  We choose to obtain our samples via adipose tissue as it is a far easier process and retrieves up to 1000 times more stem cells vs. bone marrow.  Since the tissue comes directly from the patient, the procedure is safe with a very low potential for reaction.

Adipose derived stem cell therapy has been available for several years, with samples being processed by an outside lab.  This resulted in a several day lag time between the harvest procedure and treatment which, in turn, was inconvenient and resulted in a loss of overall stem cell number during transport.  Packerland has the ability to perform the entire procedure in-house, same day.  This means there is a much greater retention of stem cells resulting more effective treatment and a greater number of cells for future treatments.

The process starts with harvesting the patient's own adipose tissue under a general anesthetic.  Our trained technicians then use specialized in-house equipment that allows them to separate out the stem cells from the fat and “activate“ them to get ready to work.  The stem cells are additionally combined with platelet rich plasma (PRP) from the patient's own blood which contains beneficial components to help improve healing, provide anti-inflammatory effect and enhance stem cell proliferation.  Once this several hour process is complete, they are ready for injection.  The patient is then given a quick sedative while the treatment areas are prepped and the stem cells are injected.  We have the ability to target multiple areas of concern at once so patients with multiple issues can have greater overall benefit.

Stem Cell therapy is most often used for conditions involving bone, ligament, tendon and muscle injury/disease, such as: osteoarthritis, fractures, Achilles tendon injury, etc. There are also other applications for stem cell therapy, but they are considered "Compassionate Care" treatments and require pre-approval before the treatment is performed. Some compassionate care applications include: spinal conditions such as degenerative myleopathy, inflammatory bowel disease, end-stage renal disease, diabetes, chronic and active hepatitis, and others. Patients with a recent or active neoplastic (cancerous) condition, or an active infection should not receive stem cell therapy.

If stem cells are used to treat areas of chronic pain, inflammation, injury and disease, they have the potential to regenerate and replace tissues (such as bone and cartilage) that have been lost.  Approximately 99% of patients show a positive response to stem cell therapy, however the degree of improvement depends upon many factors including specific condition present and overall severity of symptoms.  Patients treated with stem cells can begin to show improvement within 2 weeks of the procedure, although this improvement tends to continue over a period of several weeks.  Depending upon the condition and its severity, results can last a year or more. Some animals may need periodic treatment for continued management of their condition. Approximately 80% of clients elect to pursue cryobanking. The availability of the banked cells makes future easily assessable at any time. Cryobanking is offered through the MediVet company, with the remainder of the harvested stem cells overnighted to the MediVet lab the day of harvest.

Packerland Veterinary Center is very excited to be the first clinic to bring this exclusive, in-house technology to the state of Wisconsin, and the numerous pets that can potentially receive treatment to drastically improve their quality of life. If we can reduce or eliminate pain, repair damage and affect the underlying condition, we can provide a life-changing experience for patients with chronic conditions and the families that love them.