Adult Stem Cell Therapy

This is the use of your own stem cells for health benefit. We are the second clinic in New Zealand to offer this treatment. It is commonly used for large joint osteoarthritis when Platelet Rich Plasma therapy has failed.

Our journey to research, design and get the treatment into the clinic safely has taken two years of work and extensive study.

Most patients in general will consider Adult Stem Cell Therapy for large joint arthritis eg Knee, Hip. A much smaller percentage would consider it for some general health problems and inflammatory conditions.

Some of our general health results have included general quality of life improvements. Researchers have reported other benefits that seem to be individual, like improved vision and other quality of life indicators.

There is future potential for this treatment to benefit chronic lung conditions and inflammatory conditions like Multiple Sclerosis.

What are stem cells?

Stem cells are template cells that exist in all tissues of the body. They are there in the background as a 'back up' and 'repair kit' for the body.

Another way to think of them is that they are unspecialized (undifferentiated) cells that are characteristically of the same family type (lineage). They retain the ability to divide throughout life and give rise to cells that can become highly specialized and take the place of cells that die or are lost.

Stem cells contribute to the body's ability to renew and repair its tissues. Unlike mature cells, which are permanently committed to their fate, stem cells can both renew themselves and create new cells of whatever tissue they belong to (and other tissues).

Types of stem cells and where they are found

  • Embryonic stem cells are found in embryonic (foetal) tissues from as early on as the stage where the early embryo consists of only a few cells. They are considered Pluripotent - they can convert into absolutely any type of cell in the body. Using these types of cells are controversial and potentially unsafe
  • Adult stem cells are found in cord blood and virtually all the tissues of the body that we know of. Initially they were found in blood and bone marrow. Now we know they are found in fat, skin and supporting tissues, placenta, umbilical cord, dental pulp, tendon, bone and synovium (membrane that holds joint fluid in). In fact it is now suspected that all tissues contain stem cells
  • Adult stem cells have the potential to be Multipotent which means they can turn into multiple cell types. Some researchers have suggested that adult stem cells could be Pluripotent which means they could turn into any cell type
  • We use Adult adipose (fat) derived Mesnchymal stem cells

This treatment must be regarded as experimental, because although it is generally safe, there is still more research needed to confirm results in large numbers of people.

In our clinic, it is reserved for patients as a last resort treatment where inflammation is part of the problem. In small research studies, it has been shown to help some patients with osteoarthritis.

There is future promise for chronic lung disease and diseases that are inflammatory in nature, like autoimmune diseases eg Multiple Sclerosis.

However, there are no gold standard studies like Randomized Control Trials to confirm this as yet. There are large studies now going on in the USA to give us a better idea of what this treatment can do.

At an International Stem Cell workshop Dr Pitsilis attended, she learnt that the treatment lasts 6-8 months, however, some of her patients have noticed that the benefits have lasted over a year.

This treatment is safe, ethical and legal, because we are using your own stem cells that are harvested from your own fat. However, any risks would be associated with the procedure of taking a small amount of fat and the treatment associated with it.

Our Plastic Surgeon performs the fat harvesting in our clinic and Dr Pitsilis and her nurses manage the rest of the process as a day procedure.

The final result is not just Adult Stem cells, but a portion of the fat called Stromal Vascular Fraction, which in fact, contains much more that just Adult stem cells.

Any person wishing to have this treatment needs to be an existing patient of Dr Pitsilis' or a new patient who is prepared to work with her to optimize their health before having the treatment. This is because optimizing health first may have two outcomes:-

  1. Improve the health problem without the need for Adult Stem Cell therapy
  2. Improve the overall outcome of Adult stem cell therapy

We believe it is important to undergo pre-treatment health optimization which we are uniquely positioned to do because of our many years of experience in lifestyle, nutritional, natural therapies and hormonal therapies.

Who should not have Adult Adipose derived stem cell therapy

  • Active or past history of cancer within the last 5 years
  • Currently unwell e.g. flu, cold, chest infection, infection anywhere in body
  • Un-optimised general health - stem cells will not operate as well
  • Allergy or reaction to the local anaesthetic solution or any drugs used in the procedure
  • Potential interaction of any of your current medications with anaesthetic solution or any drugs used in the procedure

We have more detailed information on the Adult Stem cell treatment for those with stronger interest in this procedure.

Depending on the situation, a medical consultation will first be needed to decide on management. This may either be a detailed medical consultation - see consulting with Dr Pitsilis Or a brief consultation with Dr Pitsilis depending on your problems.

If you are uncertain, you can use this link to ask which type of appointment you need.




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