What to Expect as a Stem Cell Patient with SkyGen

What to Expect as a Stem Cell Patient

What can I expect?

Here’s what you need to know…

  • Between now and your departure, SkyGen will liaise with you closely, answer your questions, have your case assessed by medical specialists, discuss your treatment options, organise your flights, accommodation and transfers.
  • After arriving in Bangkok, your luxury transfers will take you and your family/friends to a 5-Star hotel conveniently located across the road from our stem cell clinic.
  • From your first consultation with your team of doctors, everything will be discussed clearly and at any time you can ask any questions regarding your multi-day treatment plan. The entire team of 45 staff including all doctors and nurses are professional and very friendly.
  • Fully qualified medical specialists will be selected to administer your treatment depending on your needs. A plastic & reconstructive surgeon will perform the cell collection procedure. An orthopaedic surgeon will treat all joint conditions (knee, hip, shoulder etc), and a qualified neurosurgeon will treat conditions of the spine.
  • All SkyGen doctors use the latest imaging and guidance technology to safely and accurately administer your stem cells, and there will be many other supportive therapies to ensure you achieve the best possible outcome.
  • Between your daily treatment sessions, you’re welcome to relax by the hotel pool, do some work in one of the hotel business lounges, or explore the vibrant city.
  • Upon your return patients typically experience immediate improvement in pain and range of motion. This gradually improves with best results achieved 6 months post-treatment.
  • SkyGen will follow up with you at set intervals to track your ongoing progress into the future.

Between Now and Departure

Expect B

  1. Your SkyGen client manager will liaise with you in preparing everything required for your medical travel journey.
  2. SkyGen will also liaise with the doctors and surgeons on your behalf to ensure all of your specific questions are answered.
  3. The medical specialists at IntelliHealth Plus in Bangkok will assess your case and determine if you are a candidate for cellular therapies.
  4. You may be required to obtain additional up-to-date scans (X-Ray, CT, MRI) of your afflicted joints if your current medical imagery is out dated (older than 6 months) or inadequate. We will let you know.
  5. You will be required to get a standard blood test and ECG test to ensure that you’re fit and healthy for the mini-liposuction procedure on Day 1 of your treatment plan. SkyGen will provide you with a standard letter requesting these simple diagnostics from your local doctor/GP.
  6. You will nominate your preferred clinic treatment dates, and if available, secure these with a 20% deposit*. You will also read through and accept SkyGen’s Terms and Conditions, and submit copies of your valid passports. Minimum 6-months passport validity is required to enter the Kingdom of Thailand.
  7. SkyGen books and organises your luxury accommodation, bonus travel inclusions, complimentary Bangkok luxury airport/hotel transfers and flights (if required) for you and your traveling party. We can provide corporate negotiated rates for flights leaving all Australian and New Zealand airports. We will also assist with specific travel seating and mobility requirements depending on your case.
  8. You will discuss how the new SkyGen Care Team will assist you with your medical travel experience on the ground in Bangkok. CLICK HERE For information on the SkyGen Care Team – coming January 2015.
  9. Final invoice balance is due 45 days prior to treatment (emergency bookings* excluded).
  10. You will receive a comprehensive Client Medical Travel Folio with all details of your trip no less than two weeks prior to your departure. This includes everything from treatment timetables through to emergency contacts, maps and helpful tourist tips.

*Bookings made within 45 days of departure require a full payment of the medical travel package invoice in order to secure treatment dates and accommodation.

Upon Arriving in Bangkok

  1. Upon arriving at Bangkok International Airport (Savarnabhumi) you will be greeted by a driver in an Intellhealth Plus uniform holding a card with your name on it. You will then be transported in a Mercedes limousine with massaging seats to your luxury 5 star hotel.
  2. You will check into The Aetas Bangkok hotel, unpack and familiarise yourself with your new surroundings for the next 11 nights.
  3. On the morning of your consultation at IntelliHealth Plus, you will walk out the foyer and to the Urbis Building, conveniently located <100m away. Take the Urbis lift up to Level 2 where the friendly clinic staff will immediately welcome and assist you.

Note: We will be in constant contact with you, the Medical Director at IntelliHealth Plus, and the hotel management staff before, during and after all stages of your treatment abroad. For information on how the SkyGen Care Team will be available to support and assist in your experience on the ground in Bangkok, ask your SkyGen Client Manager  – Coming January 2015!

Medical Procedures, Your Treatment(s) and Post-Treatment Care

Expect A

  1. During your consultation on Day 1, you will meet the medical director, your orthopaedic/neurosurgeon specialist (case depending), your plastic surgeon and your attending physician. After a physical assessment, thorough discussion, and examination of your medical scan images, your mini-liposuction procedure will usually be organised for later this day.
  2. Before your mini-liposuction procedure, you will be escorted to a VIP treatment room, where a nurse will insert an intravenous cannula. You may be given medication to relax you before being escorted down the hall to the operating theatre. Under localised anaesthetic, the plastic surgeon (Dr. Jakrin) will use a minimally invasive mini-liposuction cannula (3mls wide only) to remove approximately 100mls of adipose (fatty) tissue from your stomach or thigh. His skill allows him to perform this procedure with the least amount of patient discomfort, and without compromising cell integrity.
  3. After the procedure, you will be guided back to one of the private luxury treatment rooms for recovery under medical supervision. It is recommended that you do not undertake any heavy lifting for the next 24 hrs.
  4. The adipose tissue will be taken to the in-house laboratory where it will undergo the IH+ strict closed-system stem cell procurement process. These cells will be put into three batches for your treatment while at IntelliHealth Plus.
  5. There will be two injection sessions into your afflicted joint(s), spaced approximately 5 days apart. The injections include your adult stem cells and supportive growth factors. Technologically advanced purification facilitates the inclusion of a systemic intravenous infusion session as part of your plan.

Note: If you would like your cells to be cryogenically frozen in-house for future use, please discuss this during your consultation with your physician.

A Joint-Specific Treatment Approach

Expect d

Stem Cell Treatments for the Knee, Shoulder, Elbow, Foot, Ankle, Hand and Wrist
For these joint cases, stem cell injections will usually be performed by your qualified orthopaedic surgeon (Dr. Harry), using ultrasound guidance where necessary.

Stem Cell Treatments for the Hip
For treatment of the hip joint, stem cell injections will be performed by your qualified orthopaedic surgeon (Dr. Harry). Fluoroscopic guidance is the gold standard for the effective administration of cells accurately and safely into the hip joint capsule, called the “intra-articular space”. The primary injection into the intra-articular space is followed up and supported by a second injection, guided by ultrasound, into the surrounding pubo-, ilio- and ischio-femoral ligaments; and labral margins of the hip joint cartilage. Both injections are required to comprehensively treat all areas of the joint and alleviate the pain potentially caused by all facets of the joint. For more information about our world-leading hip joint treatment plans, contact SkyGen today.

Stem Cell Treatments for the Spine including Discs & Facet Joints
In these cases, the stem cell injections will be performed by a qualified orthopaedic surgeon or neurosurgeon. Treatment of degenerative facet joints is performed safely and accurately under fluoroscopic guidance. The administration of cells into the paravertebral and supporting joint areas can be performed under ultrasound guidance. For more detailed information on the treatment of spine, click here or contact SkyGen today.

Note: This neurosurgeon is also the attending physician performing all intrathecal administration of cord cells for treatments of paraplegic/quadriplegic Spinal Cord Injury patients.

You will visit the clinic for supportive therapies on most days of your 10 day treatment plan. When OxyVen therapy is performed, a nurse will insert a catheter into your arm and administer the elemental (atomised) oxygen directly into your blood stream. The Weber Medical Laser blood irridation will also be administered via venous catheter in the arm. You may experience a feeling of heightened alertness while these treatments are being performed. The laser therapies are also administered into the joint via needle when required. Your attending physicians will check up on you throughout these sessions, constantly monitoring your progress and comfort.

Between Treatments

Expect C

  1. It is recommended that you take it slow and relax for 24 hours following the mini liposuction procedure on Day 1 of your treatment plan. When not receiving your 1-2 hours of daily therapies, you are free to either relax around the hotel pools, explore the city or do some work in the hotel’s various business lounge areas.
  2. If you are travelling during or after January 2015, you will be able to contact the local SkyGen Care Team for guidance or assistance with anything related to your medical travel experience. The helpful SkyGen Care Team consists of qualified nurses (Thai & Australian), physical therapists, tour guides and private transport drivers to help with all facets of your trip and recovery on the ground in Bangkok. They will be in constant contact with your SkyGen Client Manager back in Australia. Please discuss your SkyGen Care Team access with SkyGen prior to the booking of your particular medical treatment package.
  3. You are also encouraged to approach “Mutsee” at the front desk of your hotel (Aetas Bangkok). She is there from 10am-4pm on weekdays to assist with both SkyGen and CosMediTour patients. She is an experienced nurse, ex-Emirates air hostess and Thai local. Patients enjoy asking for her recommendations in exploring local attractions.
  4. Most patients experience a degree of instant pain relief after their first joint stem cell injection session. Some patients may experience a tightness or stiffness in their joints after treatment. This is normal and is attributed to the increased volume of fluid (cells) into the inflamed joint space. This fluid usually disperses after a few days.

After Returning Home

Your SkyGen client manager will call you within one week of your return, and then again every 3 months to follow up on your ongoing recovery.

1-3 Months
Most patients will experience a significant reduction in pain and improved range of motion (ROM) within the treated joint(s).
Please remember that while you may not feel pain, the tissues within your joint are still damaged and the reparation phase is just beginning. Natural, unloaded movement of the joint is important, but excessive weight bearing or high impact exercises should be avoided.

3 Months – 6 Months
This is the period in which the more noticeable regeneration of supportive tissues within the joint occurs. After 4 months, your local General Practitioner may also refer you to get follow up medical imagery scans (X-Ray, CT, MRI) to compare with your pre-treatment scans.

6 Months +
Scientific and clinical evidence suggests that ongoing regeneration of tissues still occurs through to 24 months after initial stem cell treatment, albeit at a slower rate than the initial 6 month period. Follow-up treatments may be pursued to effectively “top up” and expedite the treatment of severely degenerated joints.

*Please read: Although the information provided on this page may describe a particular patient experience and/or outcome, readers must understand that each patient presents with a unique medical history and may be recommended a different treatment/surgery by their surgeon to that described above. Individual results may vary between surgery centre/hospital, surgeon, surgery type and patient. Although SkyGen agrees to share all updates from patients at their request, SkyGen does not endorse any physical activities attempted by patients following surgery which do not follow the explicit instructions provided by their surgeon. SkyGen encourages all patients to discuss the risks of such activities with medical professionals before attempting these themselves.

Written by SkyGen Public Relations

This content is copyright and property of SkyGen Spinal & Orthopaedic. It was written to educate our patients in making informed decisions regarding their own healthcare. SkyGen is Australia's largest international collaboration between world class regenerative medicine clinics and orthopaedic hospitals.