Can Stem Cell Therapy be Beneficial after Surgery?
Despite major advancements in medical technology, invasive surgical intervention is still a major part of treatment for certain conditions. However, the surgery itself is not the most challenging aspect of treating a serious injury. The recovery process following the intervention is what many patients do not look forward to most.
This comes as no surprise as post-surgical recovery can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. Fortunately, there is a potential treatment option that can expedite recovery from surgery. This intervention involves the use of stem cells for post-management care.
Below, we’ll outline how stem cells can be used to benefit patients in the weeks following a significant surgical procedure.
Where Do Stem Cells Come from?
Stem cells are unique types of cells that have the ability to replace damaged tissues within the body. Stem cells are natural, which means that they pose no risk of allergic reaction or severe side effects for patients. This is especially important when using them for the purposes of post-surgical recovery.
Stem cells can be harvested directly from the patient. One source is bone marrow aspirate. However, this approach can be quite unpleasant and a little more invasive than other options.
Another option is to harvest the stem cells from adipose (fat) tissue. This is far less invasive and causes minimal discomfort.
The third source of stem cells for therapeutic purposes is Wharton’s Jelly found within umbilical cords. This is donated allogeneic tissue from healthy c-section births from pre-screened and tested mothers.
What They Do
Stem cells actively target inflammation within the body. They can be introduced into the area that was just subjected to surgical procedure.
The cells also repair damaged tissue by transforming into other types of cells. Stem cells have the potential to replace a variety of different tissues, including skin, bone, muscle, and even cartilage.
Stem Cells and Post-Surgical Recovery
Stem cells provide the patient’s body with the biological materials that it needs to facilitate healing. The harvested stem cells are concentrated and reinjected into the patient, typically near the surgical site. Although studies are still in the early stages, preliminary research on the benefits of stem cells for post-surgical recovery has been very promising.
Stem cells may be able to reduce the recovery process and assist patients in regaining normal function sooner. This is especially appealing for athletes and active individuals that want to avoid prolonged downtime following surgery.