Frequently Asked Questions

  • What do I need to know about stem cells?
    Dr. Lee uses adult mesenchymal stem cells that are autologous or “your own.” Stem cells are used in the body’s own natural healing process and have proven successful in regenerating tendons, ligaments, cartilage, bone and muscle.
  • Are fetal, amniotic, umbilical or placental stem cells legal?
    NO! There is NO FDA APPROVED INJECTABLE STEM CELL PRODUCT FOR SALE COMMERCIALLY IN THE USA! These products are all unapproved drugs with no safety testing. When you have a Regenesis stem cell therapy done using your own stem cells, harvested, isolated and given back to you all in one sitting, it is a procedure cleared by the FDA. Your stem cells are essentially timeless in that they serve to renew the cells around them. Rogue companies marketing fetal, amniotic, umbilical or placental products are selling illegal, untested biological drugs. Plainly put, they are scams and potentially dangerous. They do not carry your DNA. There is a possibility of rejection, infection and cancer. The physicians, nurse practitioners and chiropractors involved are either badly uninformed or complicit in fraud.
  • What is the benefit of stem cell therapy?
    While the benefits of stem cell therapy are nearly limitless, some of the ones our patients value the most are: the patient will not be put under general anesthesia, there is a lower risk of infection and the patient can return to normal, everyday activity the following day after therapy.
  • What types of conditions can be treated?
    Arthritis and osteoarthritis are spectacular applications for stem cell therapy. Degenerative joint disease, meniscal and muscle tears, migraines, rheumatoid arthritis, COPD and hair loss also show extremely encouraging results.
  • Why choose Regenesis for my stem cell therapy?
    Many regional clinics claim to perform stem cell therapy, but not all stem cell therapies are created equally. Some harvest as little as a teaspoon of fat and inject it into a patient’s joints. While this fat does contain some stem cells, the ratios are dramatically disproportionate to the number of stem cells isolated from 60ml of fat or bone marrow. Some clinics also call their version of PRP therapy “stem cell therapy” since the PRP does recruit stem cell activity. However, this does not compare to injecting millions of isolated stem cells directly into the affected area. Some clinics also use a bone marrow concentrate versus a bone marrow concentrate isolation because the process is much less extensive, less complex and less time consuming. Additionally, amniotic stem cells are sometimes advertised as a commercially available product from amniotic fluid. There are, in fact, no live cells in these products. If there were live cells in these products, they would have to go through a lengthy FDA approval process to get the amniotic fluid approved as an investigational new drug. Although amniotic fluid would contain growth factors, your own PRP would be a much better source. Regenesis uses the validated protocol established by the leading credentialing body that has proven to be the standard of care in this ever-evolving field of medicine. Dr. Lee remains the sole physician in the state of Alabama that has been credentialed by the State Board of Medical Examiners for stem cell harvesting, isolation and orthopedic injections.
  • What is the difference between PRP and stem cell therapy?
    Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is a much less involved procedure than stem cell therapy, requiring only a simple blood draw and some basic processing. Your platelets are loaded with growth factors and will stimulate and attract stem cells to the area of degeneration. Stem cell therapy injects millions of stem cells in addition to PRP into a joint, bypassing the recruiting stage and placing the rejuvenating and reparative cells directly at the site of the problem. PRP or stem cell therapy is used depending on the degeneration and severity of the disease.
  • How do adipose derived mesenchymal stem cells differ from bone marrow?
    Adipose (fat) derived cells contain more mesenchymal stem cells than the bone marrow aspirated cells. However, adipose stem cells have a lower total cell count than bone marrow cells. Bone marrow stem cells also have the ability to increase blood supply to the injection site. A larger blood supply equals faster recovery.
  • Who is a candidate for this therapy? Who is not a candidate for this therapy?
    Dr. Lee will review imaging of the problem area in order to assess whether or not the patient is a candidate. If the joint has degenerated too far, stem cell therapy may not be the best option. One would not be a candidate if he has an active infection, cancer or compromised organ function.
  • Is stem cell therapy covered by insurance? If not, how much does it cost? Do you offer any type of financing?
    Unfortunately, it is not covered by insurance. Depending on the type of therapy selected, the price can range from $1,000 - $6,500. We accept cash, checks, credit cards or Care Credit for financing procedures. To learn more information about Care Credit, please visit their website www.carecredit.com.
  • Does this therapy really work? What is the success rate?
    Yes, it does. The vast majority of our patients who have been treated at Regenesis have had improvement post-procedure. Some of our patients who have had stem cell therapy have given us permission to give their phone number to potential stem cell candidates to call them and ask about their experiences and any questions they might have. This is a great opportunity to learn firsthand about the stem cell therapy process and recovery.
  • What basic science or published clinical data exists that show that these concentrated stem cells from bone marrow can help heal orthopedic injuries?
    Please visit the following link to read about a stem cell clinical trial. http://sfstemcellcenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Jo_et_al-2014-STEM_CELLS.pdf
  • From where do you get the stem cells?
    There are two sources of mesenchymal stem cells, adipose tissue and bone marrow. Dr. Lee harvests the adipose stem cells via mini-liposuction. The bone marrow aspiration is performed on the patient’s hip and is quite comfortable.
  • How do the stem cells know to stay in one localized spot or do they travel?
    Stem cells are attracted to areas of inflammation. Since the therapy injects millions of stem cells into selected joints, most of them will stay to repair the degeneration locally. However, it has been reported that systemic effects are possible. Examples include: fewer headaches, decreased interstitial cystitis, other joints experiencing pain relief, etc.
  • Does my age make a difference?
    The age and health of stem cells reflect the age and health of the patient. Regenesis carries vitamin supplements that promote healthy stem cells while increasing the amount of stem cells as well.
  • What if I have a heart condition?
    Stem cell therapy is a great option as compared to surgery seeing as the patient is not put under general anesthesia during stem cell therapy.
  • Do you offer stem cell therapy for the lungs, heart or brain?
    Yes and no. At this time Dr. Lee and his staff treat musculoskeletal diseases. Dr. Lee is also a participant in an IRB approved clinical trial for COPD using stem cell therapy.
  • What triggers the cessation of cell growth during regeneration? Has regeneration ever surpassed expected optimal growth?
    Once the stem cells have completed the regeneration of the selected site, they are signaled to stop growing or proliferating. Within the cells’ natural ability, once they have completed the regeneration they will stop differentiating.
  • Is a fat liposuction safer than a bone marrow aspirate?
    Research has shown that bone marrow aspiration is actually safer than a mini-liposuction harvest. Since it is a needle aspiration, the risk of infection is lower.
  • What complications have been experienced with the procedures?
    With any procedure, the risk of infection is present. However, the therapy is performed in a sterile environment and the risk is quite low.
  • What if I have a blood clotting disorder? What if I take Coumadin, Plavix, or other blood thinners?
    For 72 hours prior to the procedure you should not take anti-inflammatories or blood thinners. You should have this approved by the prescribing physician.
  • Why can’t I be on certain medications during the procedure?
    Certain medications will reduce inflammation and thin your blood. Stem cells need active inflammation in order to receive the best possible outcome. Some medications may also decrease the amount of stem cells harvested.
  • Are there any medications I can take that will increase the activity or healing abilities of my stem cells?
    Yes, we carry two vitamin supplements that aide in rejuvenating your own stem cells.
  • How do you process the stem cells?
    Regenesis has a sub-sterile lab next to the operating room that processes the stem cells. There are several different steps in the process of isolating stem cells.
  • Will the procedure regenerate cartilage in my joint?
    Yes, there have been several serial MRIs that have shown cartilage regeneration.
  • What lab work do I need to have done before having a stem cell procedure?
    Dr. Lee will send for a small panel including clotting studies, blood borne pathogens and a complete blood count.
  • How painful is the procedure for implanting stem cells? How long do I have to stay for the procedure?
    Because Dr. Lee was originally trained in anesthesia, he is sure to have the appropriate areas numbed and continues to monitor the patient’s comfort level throughout therapy. The procedure takes place in one sitting in our office. Depending on how many joints will be injected, procedures typically last three to five hours.
  • Do I need someone to drive me?
    Yes. A pain medication and a sedation medication are prescribed for the procedure. The patient will need transportation to and from our office.
  • How long will I have to be off my knee, leg, etc.? (What is the down time/recovery time?) Is physical therapy needed?
    One of the wonderful benefits of stem cells is that there is no down time. The patient will be able to return to his usual activities the next day. With this being said, Dr. Lee does not advise any strenuous activity for three months following therapy. In some instances, Dr. Lee will recommend physical therapy for his patients.
  • When can I expect to feel better?
    This differs per patient. Some have an immediate decrease in pain while others experience gradual declines in their pain levels over time.
  • How long does it take stem cell therapy to fully do its job?
    Newer studies show that there are still regenerative changes taking place at 24 months after a stem cell therapy procedure.
  • Will I need multiple therapies/procedures?
    At this time, patients have had successful results with a single therapy.
  • I am not local to Huntsville.
    What are my options?

    We are able to do a phone consultation to discuss your history and individual concerns and questions, order labs at an office in your area, and review any imaging you have. If it is determined that you are a candidate for stem cell therapy, we can then schedule an appointment for you to come into our office.

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