15 Questions to Ask About Stem Cell Therapy

Finding the right place for stem cell therapy can be daunting. It’s a big life decision, and you want to choose the safest facility with expert doctors. At Stem Cell Institute in Panama, we’re here to ease your concerns. In this blog, we explore the crucial questions to ask when seeking stem cell therapy, guiding you toward informed choices and a clearer path to healing.

Questions to Ask About Stem Cell Therapy

1. How Are the Stem Cells You Use Collected?

At Stem Cell Institute, we prioritize safety and excellence in providing stem cell therapy. Our proprietary Golden Cells™ are exclusively sourced from donated umbilical cord tissue after normal, c-section births from healthy women in Panama who willingly participate in our donation program.

Once the umbilical cords have been collected in a sterile environment, they undergo rigorous screening for sterility and infectious diseases. Our processes meet or exceed international blood bank standards. 

Potential donors: 

  • Sign consent forms 
  • Complete detailed questionnaires 
  • Provide blood samples 

This helps ensure that you receive the safest, highest-quality adult stem cells that we are able to provide for your treatment. The cells derived from these umbilical cords may offer a superior alternative to cells harvested from bone marrow or fat. For example, we haven’t had a case of cell rejection or any serious adverse events in over 15 years of treating over 13,000 patients. 

Approved donations are processed in our partner lab, Medistem Panama, adhering to strict quality control standards. This method not only guarantees the safety of you and our other patients, but it also eliminates the need for collecting stem cells from each patient and therefore the need for anesthesia. Our approach ensures a more pleasant treatment experience for everyone, including children and their parents.

2. How Are the Stem Cells Administered?

You will undergo a physical assessment upon your arrival at Stem Cell Institute in Panama. Once that’s been successfully completed, Golden Cells™ are usually transplanted over a few days during your stay in Panama. The process of stem cell transplantation includes various methods tailored to your specific needs and physical condition as recommended by our doctors.

The common methods of administering Golden Cells™ at our stem cell clinic include (but are not limited to):

  • Intravenous
  • Intramuscular
  • Intra-articular
  • IntrathecalStem cell doctor talking to a boy about stem cell treatment

The intravenous (IV) method involves the safe transplantation of stem cells throughout the body via IV. Anesthesia is not required, and a Lidocaine topical spray may be used before needle insertion. The process typically takes 20 – 30 minutes.

With intramuscular (IM) administration, new stem cells are injected directly into the muscle. It’s a perfectly safe method for transplantation with no anesthesia required. 

Intra-articular (IA) involves the injection of cells directly into the affected joint and is commonly used for arthritis treatment. Like other stem cell therapies, it does not require anesthesia.

Intrathecal (lumbar puncture) involves injecting stem cells directly into the spinal fluid, past the blood-brain barrier. It is administered by an experienced anesthesiologist under local anesthesia during a lumbar puncture procedure. This allows the stem cells to reach the spinal cord. This method is only used for spinal cord injury patients.

Regardless of the method, the adult stem cells undergo processing and testing in the state-of-the-art laboratory, Medistem Panama. This enables us to ensure safety and efficacy to the best of our ability. Each patient typically receives at least three intravenous (IV) treatment sessions during their visit for stem cell therapy. 

3. What Are Golden Cells™ and How Are They Different?

After years of delivering medical interventions, a discernible pattern emerged as some patients exhibited benefits surpassing those of their counterparts. Occurrences of exceptional recoveries among some patients prompted our founder, Neil Riordan, PA, PhD to examine the cells used for those patients more closely, leading to the identification of Golden Cells™

This retrospective analysis involved comparing highly successful cases with moderately successful cases and inactive fibroblast cell lines. The final culmination was the identification of a distinctive molecular signature unique to Golden Cells™.

The screening process alone spanned two and a half years, resulting in an innovative approach that preserves the Golden Cell™ molecular signature as well as enhances it. This is the first time in history that a retrospective analysis was conducted to identify mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) with superior benefits, emphasizing the inherent variability among these cells.

Our newfound ability to evaluate outcomes based on existing data had set us apart as the only stem cell company with the ability to do so. This technological leap not only allowed us to grow stem cells more efficiently, bringing us closer to the eventual large-scale use of Golden Cells™ for treating patients in the future.

Today, armed with the knowledge of what defines a Golden Cell™, we meticulously test and utilize only the cells with the most favorable molecular signature from the pool of received umbilical cords. Out of 100 cords, less than 10 now meet our stringent criteria. 

This in-depth quality assurance process is not common among labs and stem cell clinics across the world, but Stem Cell Institute along with Medistem Panama prioritizes the quality of our stem cells, and the safety and experience of our patients above all else.

4. Are Your Mesenchymal Stem Cells Approved by the US FDA?

Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is routinely reviewed and approved by the FDA for treating cancers and disorders that affect the blood and immune system. On the other hand, it’s important to note that all other stem cell-based therapies for different conditions remain experimental and thus are neither FDA-approved nor permitted in the United States.

There has been a recent development involving human umbilical cord tissue-derived MSCs. These cells, isolated and cultivated at Medistem Panama, Dr. Riordan’s stem cell laboratory in Panama to establish master cell banks, have been utilized in the United States under FDA regulation. 

The cells served as the foundational material for cellular products employed in MSC clinical trials for two Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy patients. The trials operated under the FDA’s designation of Investigational New Drug (IND) for single-patient compassionate use (IND 16026 DMD Single Patient). 

5. How Do I Become a Patient?

To become a patient of Stem Cell Institute, you must complete a medical assessment. This free assessment begins with a secure online application and review of your medical history, including past surgery history. From this, we establish if you’re a potential candidate for stem cell therapy. With over 15 years of experience and over 50,000 procedures, we prioritize safety and potential efficacy through our meticulous application process.

To process your application, we require basic information, including:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Gender

Additionally, we will request your contact details, such as a phone number and email address. If the application pertains to minors, parental or legal guardian information is mandatory. Our application procedure also asks about any physical limitations you may experience.

Next, we gather data about the reasons for your interest in treatment. To assess your eligibility and explore potential benefits from our stem cell procedures, we need a comprehensive understanding of your condition. 

This involves key details such as your: 

  • Physician’s name 
  • Diagnosis
  • Symptoms 
  • Diagnosis date 
  • Current medications

We also seek information on various medical conditions, including:

  • Circulatory problems
  • Diabetes
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Neurological problems
  • Upper respiratory tests
  • Pulmonary problems
  • Rheumatic screens
  • Cardiovascular problems
  • Endocrinological problems

The application includes questions about allergies and other essential medical information. This encompasses details about tobacco, alcohol,  and the use of nutritional supplements. We also require information on past surgical procedures or treatments like chemotherapy.

6. How Long Will It Take To Get an Appointment?

Stem cell clinic administrator talking to a patient

We can begin the evaluation process once we have received your medical application. It usually takes one or two working days, but no longer than five, to review your application. An International Patient Coordinator will contact you to discuss potential treatment options and request your medical records if our doctors determine that you are a potential treatment candidate.

We will notify you by email if you’re not a candidate based on your medical history. As soon as you have been fully approved you can schedule your treatment. 

7. Does Smoking or Drinking Affect Stem Cell Therapy?

It is highly recommended that you don’t smoke or drink when undergoing stem cell treatment. Alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking can both be detrimental to new progenitor stem cells.

8. How Long Will It Take To See Results?

Every patient we see is a unique case, including you. With that in mind, it’s impossible to know how long it will take to see results from your stem cell treatment. Some patients have seen improvement before they leave our clinic. 

On the other hand, it’s taken others as long as six months before seeing any changes in their condition. Patience is key when it comes to stem cell therapy. It can impact every patient’s life in a different way and at a different pace. There may even be cases where the treatment doesn’t have an effect. What’s important is to be vigilant and notice changes as they come.

9. Are There Any Long-Term Side Effects?

We are proud to report that we have seen no long-term negative side effects or serious adverse events after treating 13,000+ patients over the past 17 years. Generally speaking, aside from the initial pain at the injection site, patients do not experience any discomfort.

Less than 10% of (mostly lumbar puncture) patients have developed a minor fever, headache, nausea, or vomiting. However, these side effects have never lasted more than three days and usually resolve within 24 hours.

10. What Is the Cost of Treatment?

The cost of stem cell therapy at our clinic starts at $26,900 USD for adults and $15,825 USD for children. These amounts include medical care from our top-rated medical team as well as:

  • VIP customs clearance upon entering the country
  • Ground transportation to our clinic’s location
  • Your stay at the world-class Hilton Panama (standard room for two)

One thing that sets Stem Cell Institute apart is our founder, Neil Riordan, PA, PhD, who has pioneered unbiased, scientifically-driven stem cell therapy since 2006. Teaming up exclusively with Medistem Panama, his premier applied stem cell research center, we collaborate to bring forth advancements in stem cell therapy.

The cost of treatment also gives you access to our signature Golden Cells™. We use specially selected MSCs from umbilical cords from healthy births that have been meticulously screened. These cells are prized for their unique attributes, including increasing the chances of:

  • Reducing inflammation
  • Regenerating tissue
  • Regulating your immune system

Stem Cell Institute in Panama is the sole provider of Golden Cells™ across the globe. No other stem cell clinic in Panama or around the world can reproduce Golden Cells™.

11. Will Insurance Cover the Cost of Treatment?

Insurance companies don’t cover stem cell therapy. However, we have had countless patients who have found treatment worth it, even when paying out of pocket. 

12. What Is the Treatment Protocol for My Disease/Disorder and How Long Does It Take?

Because a person’s health is so individual, no two treatment protocols are exactly the same. Your stem cell treatment protocol will be tailored to your specific:

  • Disease/disorder
  • Personal health
  • Unique needs

We treat a wide range of problems at Stem Cell Institute, including:

You can learn more about the conditions we treat and what to expect by contacting us today.

13. Is Physical Therapy or Rehabilitation Available?

Physical therapy may be recommended by our medical team during your stay for stem cell treatment. It may also be provided during your treatment to ensure the best results possible. 

For example, stem cell treatment for MS (multiple sclerosis) may include: 

    • Treatment length: 5 nights
    • Physical examination and blood testing: Day 1
    • 3 intravenous infusions + perilymphatic injections of Golden Cells™ (human umbilical cord tissue-derived allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells): Days 2 – 4
  • 2 physical therapy sessions

14. Will I Be Prescribed Any Drugs?

Our doctors don’t typically prescribe medication as part of stem cell therapy. However, they may recommend a circulating stem cell-enhancing supplement regime after your treatment. It provides a holistic approach aimed at optimizing your body’s natural ability to produce and mobilize stem cells throughout the bloodstream. 

15. Are There Ethical Issues Involving These Types of Stem Cell Therapy?

Not at all. Unlike fetal and embryonic stem cells, both the Catholic Church and Southern Baptist Church have sanctioned the use of mesenchymal stem cells derived from human umbilical cords. What’s more, they have actually encouraged their usage and further research as an ethically acceptable alternative to embryonic and fetal options.

Are you ready to choose Stem Cell Institute as your stem cell therapy provider? Click here to apply today!

CTA to apply to Stem Cell Institute for stem cell therapy

Stem Cell Institute prioritizes safety and excellence in stem cell therapy with our signature Golden Cells™. If you have any further questions about getting started with treatment for yourself or a loved one, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. Our team would love to help you take the first step toward a healthier and more independent life. 

Stem Cell Institute in Panama City, Panama is at the forefront of applied stem cell research. Since our inception in 2008, we have performed over 50,000 procedures, helping thousands of families across the United States and around the world embrace the opportunity for a better life. Our medical team prioritizes the health and well-being of all our patients through top-notch stem cell treatment and care.

Take the first step towards the healthier life you deserve.