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FAQs

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:

The response rate of our treatment is very high. Our in-house observations are showing approximately a 97% chance of response to your own biological process. 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.

At the very beginning the failure rate was 20%, as the years progressed, our failure rate continued to improve. This is evolving medicine and as of 2018 our failure rate is only 3%. We now have new research involving biological testing, we are working towards zero failure rate.

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.

The durations listed below are approximations only, this covers the complete treatment time frame.

  • Biological procedure from body fat – 4 to 5 hours.
  • Biological procedure from bone marrow – 2 hours.
  • Biological procedure from blood – 30 minutes.

This depends on the treatment type you choose, multiple treatments allow us to provide best results for a wider range of patients.

We have treated many patients who have only received 1 injection from us, their results have also been extremely good.

It is important to remember, not everyone will respond to this treatment. As of 2018 we note our non-responder rate is very low, only 3%. This is still a figure you need to be mindful of.

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.

Most patients will notice a response within 2 to 6 weeks, these improvements will continue to get better as the months pass. It is important to know some patients can take as long as 2 years to show decent improvements (even though it is very rare).

It is best to ask us during your consultation, we can try to guide you better based on your situation.

The short answer is, Yes. We have treated many patients with very good long lasting results so far.

The long answer is in the page about treating osteoarthritis. You need to understand how osteoarthritis works in combination with our treatment.

Please view the osteoarthritis page here.

For us to perform your treatment, we have to book out our surgical theatre, purchase consumable medical goods, sterilise equipment, allocate time for the doctors, and nurses specifically for you on the day. These come at a price and that’s why we kindly request that you pay a non-refundable deposit for your procedure.

The treatments we perform here at Macquarie Stem Cells are ‘autologous’.  This means that it involves using tissue taken from your own body. This significantly reduces the risk of allergic reaction and rejection. More than 20 years of literature as well as almost 10 years of our personal experience with our patients suggest this treatment is very safe.

It is important to understand, this treatment does involve a surgical aspect. This means all risks of surgery are applicable. We will discuss this with you at your consultation.

This is evolving medicine with evolving guidelines and regulations. In a nutshell, these regulations are enforcing companies to conform to a raised standard to ensure patient safety. This new standard comes with a significant cost. We have been working towards these changes well before their first introduction and we will be a head of the compliance schedule on day one.

Macquarie stem Cells will be fully compliant by the end of the transition date and we will continue providing our treatment to Australians.

You can find out more about these regulations on our regulations page.

Unfortunately there are no medical rebates or Medicare available for these treatments. 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.

The simple answer is, no. This is medicine, everyone responds differently to any medication or procedure. You are not buying a television.

  • If a heart surgeon performs a by-pass procedure and the artery collapses, you will not receive a refund.
  • If a patient receives chemotherapy and it fails, they do not receive a refund.

You need to understand, we only see 3% of our patients fail to respond to the treatment. This may be you.

We will guide you during your consultation for specific advice for your situation. However, in general Macquarie Stem Cells suggest patients rest for a period of 4 weeks post treatment.

After the resting period, we suggest light physiotherapy to work on building lost muscle and tendon strength as well as flexibility.

You will need to listen to your body and use pain as your guide. If you are feeling pain, you may be doing too much. We will guide you in detail.

Due to reasons involving rejection and infection, we are not able to utilise another persons biological product for your self or family members.

Here at Macquarie Stem Cells part of our responsibility is to stay up-to-date on news regarding biological treatments. We can see biological medicine is becoming a viable treatment for an ongoing list of diseases.

At the moment it is best used for joint pain problems such as osteoarthritis, although we have also seen success in many other conditions in the past when we had treated patients with comorbidities such as; psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, ankylosing spondylitis and many more.

In short, inflammatory and immune disorders respond very well. However, we do not treat these conditions. This is all covered through our not for profit research institute (BISCRA). We are hoping to raise enough funds to perform research and provide these treatments in the near future.

Please learn more at  www.biscra.org.au

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

Yes. There are greater risks involved with General Anaesthetic compared to Local 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 (http://www.anzca.edu.au/patients/frequently-asked-questions/risks-and-complications.html)

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.

Blindness

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

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.

Speak with one of our consultants today