Adipose derived tissue stromal vascular fraction, or SVF, is a type of stem cell therapy that addresses the cause of inflammatory diseases, rather than just the symptoms. It is harvested from adipose, or fatty, tissue and unlike other stem cells, does not just repair existing cells but can halt future decline.

What is adipose stem cell treatment?

Adipose tissue has been extensively studied and is known as an ideal and abundant source for progenitor precursor stem cells called pericytes and mesenchymal stem cells. Stem cells are multipotent and can differentiate into different tissue cells. These cells also secrete numerous bioactive molecules that can help facilitate tissue healing mechanisms and thus are associated with tissue regeneration and healing. These bioactive molecules also are associated with paracrine signaling that can produce extensive anti-inflammatory effects in the area being treated.

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This treatment can be used to stimulate healing for soft tissue injuries involving tendons, ligaments and muscles. Adipose tissue stem cell treatments are being studied and are most commonly used for joint injuries including labrum and meniscus tears and chronic joint diseases such as osteoarthritis and chondromalacia.

What are the healing properties of SVF?

Growth factors: These are naturally occurring compounds in the body that stimulate and regulate the growth of various types of cells by producing a range of “factors” that the body can’t synthesize itself.

Mesenchymal cells (mes – from the Latin + Greek + middle) stem cells: These have the capacity to differentiate into bone cells, cartilage cells, muscle cells, and fat cells.

Endothelial (endo, from the Greek + within) precursor cells. These cells help form the lining of blood vessels.

Macrophages: These are a type of large white blood cell, produced in bone marrow, that essentially, ingests and destroys bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi.

T-regulatory cells: These are a type of T cell that helps prevent autoimmune disease. There are different types of T cells.

Smooth muscle cells: Smooth muscle is the muscle in internal organs, like the gut, and is not under voluntary control.

Pericytes: Pericytic cells wrap around blood vessels and help sustain the blood-brain barrier.

Preadipocytes: These are as-yet undifferentiated cells that can be stimulated to form adipose (pre + adipose) tissue.

What can I expect on the day of the procedure?

Expect to be in clinic for one and a half hours. Paperwork will need to be completed prior to your injection. The procedure will take place in the clinic in a procedure room. A local anesthetic will be administered at the site to numb the area and after the procedure is performed, bandages will be applied. The adipose tissue will be processed immediately afterwards. The treatment will be administered the same day via injection to the affected area using ultrasound guidance in the clinic.

Will I need repeat injections?

This depends on your injury. For chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis and chondromalacia of the joints, adipose stem cell treatment combined with rehabilitation may not necessitate further treatment. It is possible that repeat supplemental treatment may be needed again in the future due the joint’s chronic degenerative condition. The type of supplemental treatment would be determined during follow-up.

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