When it comes to medications and surgery, our culture seems to be moving in the direction of “less is more.” This mentality has paved the way for regenerative medicine and its all-natural qualities.
What could be more natural than a treatment derived from your own cells?
Dr. Jeffrey Farricielli, founder of the Center for Regenerative Medicine in Mount Pleasant, has honed his skills in powerful new treatment options for orthopedic conditions. These orthobiologic cell-based treatments act therapeutically by stimulating the body’s capacity for healing and self-repair.
“We use FDA-cleared approaches to utilize reparative cells and growth factors from a patient’s own bone marrow, fat and platelets. I offer these options to my patients that have had orthopedic issues and are not ready for a major, invasive surgery,” Dr. Farricielli said. “These patients have tried anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy and other injections, which have not worked for them.”
BMAC, or bone marrow aspirate concentrate, is a component of your bone marrow that contains growth factors and reparative cells. These mesenchymal stem cells can be found in many tissues throughout your body, but one of the richest sources is your bone marrow. Fortunately, bone marrow can be harvested from several bones within your body and is relatively easy to access. It is is aspirated through a small needle puncture in your pelvic bone and placed in a special processing unit, which concentrates your body’s stem cells, platelets and growth factors. The concentrate is collected into a sterile syringe and injected into the targeted area being treated.
Lipogems is a state-of-the art, FDA-cleared technology that utilizes a patient’s own natural adipose, or body fat, to promote healing to injured and damaged areas. The system is gradually being authorized for use by a select few U.S. physicians – Dr. Farricielli is among them – as a cutting-edge yet conservative orthopedic option.
Dr. Farricielli described body fat as an incredibly effective patient option. Fat has 100 to 500 times more reparative cells, compared to other, similar tissue. Fat provides cushion and support to the damaged or injured area. Body fat is first harvested, or removed, using a minimally invasive procedure from places where most people can easily spare it — usually the lower belly or adjoining “love handles.” Then it is processed and cleansed to remove contaminants such as oils and blood and finally, immediately injected into problem areas.
Platelet rich plasma (PRP) is the most commonly utilized regenerative procedure. It is used to treat tendinitis, bursitis and mild osteoarthritis. Platelets are the little packets of growth factors and other natural healing molecules that help clot your blood.
As Dr. Farricielli explained, “If you were to get a paper cut, platelets would both stop the blood flow and also release healing growth factors to help get the local cells on course to heal the skin. PRP is created by centrifuging the whole blood drawn from an arm vein and concentrating the platelets in the serum. The idea is that more of a good thing is better than less.”
Since reparative cell therapy is an injection, it is minimally invasive.
“We use ultrasound imaging and X-ray fluoroscopy to make sure we place the medicine exactly where it is needed,” Dr. Farricielli said.
At the Center for Regenerative Medicine’s in-house lab, Dr. Farricielli analyzes and logs data on each of the products he obtains from a patient to assure quality standards. If a patient agrees, this information, along with their results, can anonymously be part of a national research data bank to help further the efficacy of treatment.
Dr. Farricielli is a board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation physician who specializes in interventional pain management.
“I realized one day when I injured my back that although I saw the utility in steroid injections in certain situations, I was reticent to get one myself. That was the first spark of a major paradigm shift in my thinking about what I was doing,” he explained.
He concluded, “I wanted to find a more natural way to heal myself, so I began to research and study, and I eventually became a patient myself, convinced that this is the future of medicine. If you want to remain active, regenerative therapies provide the best way to do that without the need for surgery or medication.”
For more information about the Center for Regenerative Medicine, visit www.regenmedcharleston.com or call 843-901-2145.
By Theresa Stratford