Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve compiled a list of answers to common questions below. 

HOW FAST WILL I SEE RESULTS?
Since each condition and patient is unique, there is no guarantee of how quickly the results will be achieved. According to patient feedback, most patients report results within a few days; however, to achieve the complete effect of treatment it may take as long as six to nine months.
ARE THERE ANY KNOWN SIDE EFFECTS TO THE PROCEDURE?
From the main Cell supplier, they have had more than 20,000 injections with predictive and no reported adverse reactions. It should also be noted that the cells that we use are multipotent, not pluripotent, resulting in little to no risk. Side effects of umbilical cord derived stem cell therapies may include but are not limited to: infection, minor bleeding at the treatment site, and localized pain. These side effects typically last no longer than 24 hours.
HOW ARE THE CELLS THAWED?
At the clinical level many methods of thawing have been tested. The easiest, most effective method is placing the vial in the palm of your hand (the clinician or the patient’s) for roughly 3 to 4 minutes. It is vitally important that this only be done once the patient is ready to be prepped for the procedure to ensure the best possible outcomes of treatment.
HOW MANY CELLS ARE NECESSARY TO TREAT DIFFERENT CONDITIONS?
The exact number of cells needed for maximum efficacy is still not known for many conditions; however, worldwide research for nearly 20 years has provided an effective range. Research supports the notion a greater number of stem cells are often better, and the body may utilize the extras in other ways that can be beneficial.  
WHAT IS THE BEST METHODOLOGY FOR INJECTING THE STEM CELLS?
The stem cells are injected into the desired area the same way as any other injection. However, the main difference is in the preparation as well as our use of precision guided ultrasound, which allows us to inject precisely into the affected tissues. Many clinics do not use guided ultrasound, which limits precision and accuracy of where the cells are administered. Some clinics use fluoroscopy instead of ultrasound, but the radiation from this imaging tool is destructive to the stem cells making them less viable. Research has shown cells can begin to die within minutes of being thawed, so we are also expeditious with the injection process.
WHAT ARE STEM CELLS?
When a baby is conceived, stem cells give rise to every cell and tissue in the body. These cells then remain within the body throughout a lifetime. Stem cells are the basic building blocks of human tissue and have the ability to repair, rebuild, and rejuvenate tissues in the body. When a disease or injury strikes, stem cells respond to specific signals and set about to facilitate the healing process by differentiating into specialized cells required for the body’s repair. They release healing growth factors in response to a distress cell signal in an injured or pathologic area of the body.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I AM A CANDIDATE?
Our office will schedule you for an evaluation, consultation, medical records review and radiologic studies review to determine if you are a candidate. We will also determine the likelihood of success for your case. 
DOES MY INSURANCE COVER STEM CELL THERAPY?
Unfortunately, no insurances cover stem cell therapy as they are not yet FDA approved, which makes our process and the stem cell product even more economical and desirable. We anticipate an expedited approval that will happen in 5 years, but no one knows for sure how long it will take. It will likely come in segmental approvals for certain conditions as the human trial evidence mounts. Currently, the only FDA approved therapy is Umbilical Cord Stem Cells for a very specific cancer. New Mexico Stem Cell Clinic participates in reporting to the national databases that are working toward attaining FDA approval. Currently we follow FDA guidelines and regulations set forth by the American Association of
Tissue Banks (AATB) regarding our handling and delivery of stem cells to patients.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO SEE RESULTS?
Since each condition and patient is unique, there is no guarantee of how fast the results will be achieved. According to patient feedback, most patients report results within a few days; however, it may take as long as six to nine months.

WILL I NEED PHYSICAL REHABILITATION?
We provide a very detailed post procedure booklet to help ensure your success. You may request this prior to your procedure. In a nutshell, mobility is a very important part of your recovery and we typically recommend you receive some help from a provider that specializes in physical rehabilitation.
DO YOU USE MY OWN STEM CELLS?

No. New Mexico Stem Cell Clinic utilizes Human Umbilical Cord Stem Cells, which is the most advanced stem cell product available. Published research reveals stem cells from the umbilical cord replicate faster and replicate for many more generations than other types of stem cells. Umbilical Cord Stem Cells also have a higher level of multipotency than mature adult stem cells helping the body regenerate lost tissue like cartilage, muscle and soft tissue faster and more effectively. 

A Comparison of Human Bone Marrow–Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Human Umbilical Cord–Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells for Cartilage Tissue Engineering
Limin Wang, Ph.D., Ivy Tran, Kiran Seshareddy, B.V.Sc., A.H., Mark L. Weiss, Ph.D., and Michael S. Detamore, Ph.D.

Comparative Analysis of Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells from Bone Marrow, Adipose Tissue, and Umbilical Cord Blood as Sources of Cell Therapy
Hye Jin Jin, Yun Kyung Bae, Miyeon Kim, Soon-Jae Kwon, Hong Bae Jeon, Soo Jin Choi, Seong Who Kim, Yoon Sun Yang, Wonil Oh, and Jong Wook Chang



HOW ARE THE CELLS PROCESSED AND ARE THEY SAFE?
The umbilical cord is processed in the hospital according to the rules and regulations of the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB). Approximately 4 weeks prior to a scheduled caesarean section, the mother’s OB/GYN asks her if she would like to keep and store her unborn child’s umbilical cord for future use. If the mother declines, she is asked if she would like to donate the umbilical cord. If she agrees, she undergoes a review of her medical history, social history, and a blood test. If she is deemed an acceptable donor according to prevailing rules of the AATB, then, at the time of her caesarean section, an experienced technician will clamp the umbilical cord, take it to a sterile room, and remove the contents of the umbilical cord and place it into a blood bag. The bag of umbilical cord blood is then delivered to the lab for processing. Once at the lab, a sample of the umbilical cord blood is sent to a 3rd party independent FDA registered lab for testing according to United States Pharmacopoeia rule 71 (U.S.P. 71), which is a test for all known communicable diseases. While that test is taking place, the stem cells are then processed and removed from the red blood cell products. A sample of the finished stem cell product is then sent to a different 3rd party independent FDA registered lab for sterility testing and for the absence of HLA-DR markers. Only after both lab reports come back as “clean” and the stem cells have passed the regulatory requirements, are the processed umbilical cord stem cells available for distribution.
DO YOU EVER USE AN ABORTED FETUS?
NO. We only use the umbilical cord from a live, healthy birthed baby.
IS HLA MATCHING NECESSARY?
No. HLA matching is not necessary for the Liveyon product because HLA-DR, the component responsible for a negative reaction, is below measurable amounts. Even in the 1990s, when HLA-DR extraction techniques were far less efficient than they are today, negative HLA-DR reactions were not commonly seen.
CAN YOU SPLIT THE CONTENTS OF THE VIAL ON DIFFERENT PATIENTS?
No. You may NOT split the contents of the vial and use on 2 different patients. For regulatory and tracking purposes, the vials are SINGLE USE and can only be used on a SINGLE PATIENT.
WHAT IS THE DESIRED LEAD TIME TO SCHEDULE MY INJECTION FOLLOWING A CONSULTATION?
Since New Mexico Stem Cell Clinic keeps inventory cryopreserved on site, you may receive your injection on the same visit if you wish or you can schedule a time that is most convenient for you in the future.
DO STEM CELLS DUPLICATE THEMSELVES IN THE BODY?
Yes. Stem cells have the ability duplicate themselves in the body. There is some debate on this topic and this debate is one that is very difficult to prove or disprove, but most medical doctors and scientists agree that this action must account for the tremendous regeneration that can follow an injection.
DO STEM CELLS CAUSE CANCER OR CAUSE CANCER TO GROW?
No. Many studies have been done to show the long-term safety of stem cells and they are conclusive showing not only do stem cells not proliferate or grow cancer, but stem cells are in fact classified as anti-tumorogenic. Multiple studies are being done around the world showing stem cells can actually fight cancer and stop the growth of cancer cells. This research is ongoing and the exact effects of stem cells for the treatment of cancer is, as of yet, unknown.
ARE UMBILICAL CORD STEM CELLS FROM ANOTHER PERSON SAFE TO PUT INTO MY BODY?
Yes. Allogeneic (taken from another person of the same species) cells are safe to put into your body. When the umbilical cord is processed, all the red blood cell components with the ability to cause a negative reaction are removed. Also, the umbilical cord cells are naïve/immature and do NOT react the way a mature adult cell would react.

“Mesenchymal stem cells produce huge quantities of bio-molecules, some of which are immunosuppressive; MSCs put up a curtain of molecules around themselves that allows donor (allogenic) MSCs to be transplanted into a recipient, free from an immune response. (Immune privileged/Immune Masked)”
Arnold Caplan, PhD. Case Western Reserve University. Experimental and Molecular Medicine (2013) 45 Mesenchymal stem cells: environmentally responsive therapeutics for regenerative medicine

ARE UMBILICAL CORD CELLS THE SAME AS AMNIOTIC FLUID?
No. Umbilical cells are LIVE NUCLEATED CELLS containing stem cells, which will continue to produce anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory components optimizing the local cellular environment. They also contain mononucleated cells, which produce growth factors, proteins, and cytokines, which stimulate our own tissue to regenerate itself. Because the cells are LIVE, they can continue to exert the cellular function for weeks and even months in the body. Conversely, amniotic fluid/tissue must be processed in such a way that KILLS the live nucleated cells leaving a product which contains growth
factors, proteins, and cytokines that will have an effect for several hours to a few days. We also use cells from Wharton’s Jelly. Wharton’s Jelly is the actual tissue of the umbilical cord and contains a much higher concentration of stem cells than the cord blood itself. It allows us to get a greater amount of cells without the increased cost to you.

CAN I USE A LOCAL ANESTHETIC?
Local anesthetics may be used to numb the needle pathway however we do NOT want to infuse large amounts of any local anesthetic into the joint or area being treated. We rarely use local anesthetics because the pinch of the anesthetic stick is very similar to the pinch associated with the actual injection. Most people have little to no issue with the actual procedure without anesthetic. When we treat intradiscally (injection inside the intervertebral disc) we typically give a mild sedative prior to the procedure.