23 Aug Regenerative Medicine’s Safety Comes from You
Recently, we published a post discussing what we believe are the five basic principles of regenerative medicine. Regenerative medicine, while not new to the medical community, is just coming into its own in terms of patient awareness. There is still a lot the general public needs to know about it. For starters, patients need to know that legitimate regenerative medicine is safe.
Procedures like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell injections are completely safe so long as clinicians stick to existing FDA guidelines. Believe it or not, the safety of these procedures comes from you, as the patient. It is all related to something we refer to as ‘autologous material’.
Autologous material is biological material supplied directly by the person being treated. If you were to visit Lone Star Pain Medicine to receive a stem cell injection for your arthritic knees, you would provide the stem cells for the procedure. You would supply the blood if it were determined that a PRP injection would be a better option.
Already FDA Approved
We thought it important to talk about regenerative medicine’s safety in relation to autologous material because far too many media outlets insist that regenerative medicine is not FDA approved. Nothing could be further from the truth.
For sure, the FDA has not approved a procedure in which we take stem cells from multiple patients, mix them together, and inject them into your painful knees. However, current FDA regulations do allow regenerative medicine procedures utilizing autologous material. The one stipulation they place on such procedures is that the harvested material must remain minimally manipulated.
What does that mean? It means we cannot take your stem cells or blood plasma and significantly alter them by adding other materials, changing their molecular structure, etc. We have to work with what you give us. And that is what we do.
PRP injections start with a simple blood draw. The blood you provide is spun in a centrifuge to isolate the platelets. The resulting plasma and platelets are then injected at the site of injury or disease. That’s it. We don’t manipulate the blood beyond putting it in a centrifuge to spin out unwanted material.
It is Safe for You
Since we are using autologous material, PRP and stem cell injections are safe. You are being injected with your own blood or stem cells. The chances of your body rejecting the material are nearly zero. The chances of any other complications are extremely low as well.
For most patients, the biggest risk is infection associated with the injection. But every injection therapy carries that same risk. It is a minor risk, which is why the medical community isn’t afraid to utilize injections.