Macquarie Stem Cells is passionate about instilling patient knowledge

We believe it is our responsibility to make sure that you are as knowledgeable as possible when it comes to your stem cell therapy treatment. Part of this is being open when it comes to answering patient questions which we are always happy to do. We have provided some common enquiries below so that any questions you have may be answered:

Should I stop my blood thinners before surgery?

  • The decision to continue or to stop blood thinning tablets and herbs is decided by weighing the dangers of stopping against the dangers of continuing.

    If you are taking the thinners “just in case” and you have no underlying pathology or disease then you risk of stopping is very low. If you have Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation, Ischaemic Heart Disease or stents, or have TIAs then your risk is higher and consideration can be given to having a gentle fat harvesting with a low risk of Post-op bleeding.

    Other factors that may impact will be other medication that may have an additive effect, any changes in your blood screen including coagulation profile, liver and kidney function.

    Diet does have an impact with green leafy vegetables supplying more Vit K which helps with blood clotting.

    A history of frequent fainting, heart irregularity, other health problems, smoking and age over 75 are all considerations.

    If you are not fit for an outpatient procedure we will not be able to proceed.

How long is the procedure?

The procedure will take approximately 3-5 hours if we are taking your cells from body fat or approximately 1 – 2 hours if we obtain your cells from your bone marrow.
The injection process will be performed on the same day as the extraction of the cells.

Will I require more than one treatment?

Upon your consultation we will let you know if multiple treatments will be required. We have treated a lot of patients whom have and have NOT required any more than 1 treatment.

What is your success rate?

The success rate of this treatment is very high. Our in-house observations are showing approximately a 97% chance of response to your own cells. Just keep in mind, everyone will respond differently. The band of improvements can vary between 20% to 100%, often patients are reporting an average of 75% improvement in relation to pain, stiffness and strength of the joint.

How long after treatment should I see a change?

There are a number of factors that can change how soon you will see results. It will depend on the severity of the condition at hand, your response to the cells and the regenerative speed of your tissues. As each of these vary person to person it is best to ask us during your consultation.

Why do I need to pay a deposit?

You will receive your stem cell therapy treatment in our surgical theatre at our Sydney location. Part of allocating the theatre includes booking in a registered nurse on the day. Both of these conditions come at a price and that’s why we kindly request that you pay a deposit for your procedure.

Is there fee help or rebates available for stem cell therapy?

Unfortunately there are no medical rebates or Medicare available for stem cell therapy. Private health insurance is much the same.

We have noticed government schemes are happy to provide assistance in terms of patient travel and accommodation.
You can refer to this here.

Is stem cell therapy safe/Are there any side effects?

Stem cell therapy is an autologous procedure, which means that it involves using tissue taken from your own body. This significantly reduces the risk of allergic reaction and rejection of the cells by the body. More than 20 years of literature suggests these cells and this treatment is very safe.

What’s the difference between stromal, stem and mesenchymal cells?

We are passionate about ensuring that our patients understand their treatment in full. This means understanding the different cellular components that constitute treatment.

Stromal cells are a combination of stem cells, growth cells and regenerative cells. These cells are found in the Stromal Vascular Fraction obtained from your body fat and/or bone marrow.

Embyronic Stem cells are cells which do not yet have a ‘specialisation’. They are pluri-potent, this means they can transform into almost any tissue type in the body. These cells have significantly higher risk factors associated with them in comparison with Mesenchymal Stem Cells.

Mesenchymal cells are a type or progenitor cell similar to a stem cell with more limited capabilities. They are in the category of multi-potent stem cells. Mesenchymal cells can transform into a limited number of tissue types whereas embryonic stem cells have much broader abilities.

Which diseases can be treated with adult stem cells?

Here at Macquarie Stem Cells part of our responsibility is to stay up-to-date on stem cell news. We know that stem cell therapy is gaining more and more clout every day as well as broadening its horizons as a viable treatment for an ongoing list of diseases. At the moment it is best used for joint pain problems such as arthritis, although we have also seen success employing it for psoriasis and some neurological disorders.

Can I donate my fat to a family member or a friend?

Due to safety reasons at the moment we are not able to perform a heterologous procedure using tissue from another person’s body.

What do I need to consider if I’m an interstate patient?

As with any medical surgery complications can occur. Although it is not common in stem cell therapy there is always a possibility of adverse effects, it’s important to acknowledge the possibility especially when traveling interstate for the procedure. If you travel to our Sydney location and do suffer complications due to the procedure you will be responsible for finding and funding accommodation.

Once you go home you can have your follow up appointments with your GP, and we will also keep in touch with you regularly over the phone. To date, we have had no complications

Are there more risks with General Anaesthetic?

Important: We use local anaesthetic NOT general.

Below are the outlined risks of GENERAL ANAESTHETIC directly obtained from
Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (

All surgery can have complications and, as medical practitioners, we do everything we can to maximise safety. The procedure of fat harvesting is a mini liposuction and it is safer when performed without GA.

Starling et al (Dermal Surgery 2012, Vol 38, No 2) analysed 10 years of Florida mandatory reporting data and found that being board certified and having accredited facilities did not improve adverse event rate. GA cases were associated with 74% of patients needing transfer to hospital. In the commentary that follows this article Dr Hanker states:

“Keep the patient awake! If a procedure can be performed safely and effectively using local anaesthetic, risk is minimised, and patient safety is served.”

General Anaesthesia (GA):

GA involves the patient being put into a medication-induced state which, when deep enough, means that the patient will not respond to pain and includes changes in breathing and circulation. Under general anaesthetic, a patient is in a state of controlled unconsciousness.

What are the risks of anaesthesia?

Risks and side effects include nausea and vomiting, physical injuries, reactions to drugs, awareness and even death.

Physical injuries

Damage to teeth occurs in less than 1 in 100 general anaesthetic cases. This usually occurs during a process known as laryngoscopy (inserting an instrument into the mouth), when a breathing tube is inserted through the vocal cords in your airway while you are asleep or if a plastic sucker has to be used to clear fluid in your mouth.

Sore throat

Sore throat may occur in up to 45% of patients having anaesthesia requiring a breathing tube known as an endotracheal tube, and in 20% of patients when a laryngeal mask, which is a mask and tube that is inserted into the back of the throat, is used

Nerve injuries

Nerve injury (damage to nerve fibres) following nerve blocks (regional anaesthesia) occur in approximately 1 in 500 cases.


All complications are unfortunate and this complication is extremely rare, occurring in approximately one in 1,250,000 anaesthetics. Patients who are at a higher risk of blindness include smokers and those with high blood pressure or diabetes.


Death related to anaesthesia is extremely rare. Type of surgery (in particular if the surgery is an emergency such as for major trauma), underlying medical condition, physical status, and age all impact on the rate of death. If combined, the incidence of death of patients with all different physical conditions, including those that are not expected to survive with or without the operation, is 1 in 50,000.

Allergic reaction to medications given as part of anaesthesia

The reaction varies from a mild allergic reaction, such as a rash, to a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis, which is a severe life-threatening allergic reaction. The incidence of anaphylaxis reactions to anaesthetic agents in Australia is 1 in 10,000 to 1 in 20,000.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolus (PE)

Potential risk due to patient lies without moving.