Stem cell treatments and PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) therapy are both treatment options in the regenerative medicine field, which continues to grow rapidly. As more patients see promising results from the use of these biologic treatments, more new patients are opting for biologic solutions every day. But many patients who are interested in employing biologics in their treatment plan still have questions – and rightfully so. Biologic therapies are more than just treatment options. They’re an investment in your health, and you want to be sure it’s worthwhile.
Dr. David Karli, the founder of , is passionate about the need for patients to fully understand what they’re receiving from their physician when they opt for biologic treatments like PRP and BMC (Bone Marrow Concentrate). Here are four questions Dr. Karli recommends that any patient ask their provider during their consultation about biologics:
1. Does Your Doctor Know What is In the Product?
Dr. Karli recommends that when you approach your provider about biologics, you ask them how familiar they are with the makeup of the product they use. In 98% of biologic procedures (or maybe even more), the physician who is providing the treatment doesn’t actually know how many cells are in each product. While it isn’t uncommon for biologic products like PRP and BMC to be prepared by a partner company rather than your doctor, a high-quality product will have clear data showing precisely what types of cells and how cells are present. This is the kind of product you will want to invest in as a patient, and if your doctor can’t answer your question, consider looking elsewhere for your procedure.
If your doctor claims to know how many cells are in your treatment product, ask them how they know and why it is important. Often, doctors will report cell counts from internal research reported by the company that makes their product. This general information does not accurately identify the cell counts drawn from your body on the day of your treatment. This is only accomplished with actual measurements on the drawn sample analyzed and recorded by sophisticated equipment on the day of your procedure.
2. Are the PRP and Stem Cells Safe and Legal?
FDA compliance in the world of regenerative medicine is extremely important to ensure that every patient receives safe treatment, but it can also be somewhat complicated. Truthfully, illegal, unapproved, non-compliant injections of stem cells and other biologic products are given to patients each and every day. This is not to say that doctors are acting with malice – many of them don’t even realize that their product is non-compliant. However, utilizing unapproved products in your biologic therapy can increase your risk of complications and lessen your chance for a successful outcome. Your doctor should be able to reassure you of their products’ compliance with FDA regulations. Currently, there are no products containing living cells that did not come from your own body and that are not processed and immediately returned to you for an orthopedic treatment that are compliant for use in the United States. Any product that falls outside of this description is considered a biological drug, requiring FDA approval. These can only be offered as part of a formal clinical research trial.
3. How Experienced is Your Doctor in Regenerative Medicine?
Regenerative medicine is a young and evolving field of medicine. Because of this, the physician who is recommending your treatment is likely someone with another specialization: an Orthopedist, a Pain Specialist, Dermatologist, or another type of physician. As more and more physicians see the benefit of using biologic therapies for their patients, it becomes important to query them about their experience in providing these treatments. Dr. Karli recommends asking your doctor how many biologic procedures they’ve done, and inquiring about what training they’ve done in preparation to perform them. It’s also good to ask your doctor what kinds of medical guidance they intend to use to perform your injection – ideally, in most cases, they’ll be using technology like ultrasound or x-ray (Fluoroscopy) to guide the needle to the ideal location in your treated area, rather than simply administering a blind injection.
4. How Confident Is Your Doctor in Stem Cell Therapy & Regenerative Medicine?
Naturally, you want to hear from your doctor that they believe your treatment will yield great results – but it’s more important that they can counsel you objectively and honestly, and that their confidence in your treatment comes from a place of experience and analysis of your individual condition. The person who is responsible for providing your treatment should also be the person you can count on to tell you if you’re a good candidate, if the treatment is appropriate, and be honest with you about the likelihood of success before you invest in biologic therapies.
Many of the uncertainties that previously surrounded regenerative medicine are beginning to become clear through the hard work, innovation, and data collection performed by affiliated physicians and biotech companies like Greyledge. When physicians affiliate with us, we work together to objectively find the answers to these vital questions that patients should be asking before they make an investment in cellular therapies.
If you’re interested in the ways regenerative medicine may be able to help you, engage your physician, let them know the benefits of the unique Greyledge approach, and . Alternatively, you may be able to find a physician who is already utilizing Greyledge and is providing fully customizable PRP and stem cell injection therapy near you.