Tuesday, March 21, 2023
Stem cells are the building blocks of life. They are found in every part of the body and play an important role in maintaining health, healing wounds and quality of life in general. These cells are also used in medical treatment such as bone marrow transplants, and play a strong role in regenerative medicine.
Stem cell therapies have become increasingly popular among medical professionals due to stem cell research and clinical trials that have demonstrated their benefit in treating a wide range of chronic disease and medical conditions including arthritis, brain injury, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, Lyme disease, Parkinson's disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, stroke patients, spinal cord injuries, and even cancer.
So what is the average cost of stem cell therapy in the USA? Should one take the medical tourism route and opts for stem cell therapy in Mexico or Panama where the stem cell treatment cost is less expensive? And if you did, would it be as effective as having similar treatment locally? If you're looking for answers to any of these questions then you've come to the right place - please read on.
There are several factors to consider regarding stem cell therapy cost. These include the type of stem cell being used, the medical condition being treated, the number of stem cell injections needed to achieve therapeutic effects, the geographic region where the treatment takes place (e.g. North America or Latin America), and the medical providers of stem cell treatments.
In this article, I will discuss the average cost of stem cell procedures based on these factors. But first...
Is stem cell therapy covered by insurance?
Alternative treatments like stem cell procedures are often paid out-of-pocket by patients since most health insurance companies typically do not cover stem cell therapy costs; however, some stem cell clinics may provide financing options.
For this reason, it is even more important to be well informed, to understand the benefits of stem cell therapy, any and all risks involved, and the variations in the effectiveness of stem cell types for treating different conditions before you choose a clinic for stem cell treatment. It could save you thousands of dollars.
Different Types of Stem Cell Therapies
Whether you're looking for an alternative to knee replacement surgery or dealing with congestive heart failure, it is important to understand the pros and cons of the different type of cells used in stem cell therapy.
Autologous Stem Cell Treatments
The stem cell industry in the USA is full of providers offering autologous stem cell transplants (Autologous meaning "derived from self"). This involves the collection of a patient's own stem cells from one part of their body, processing it, and then re-infusing it back into another part of the patient's body.
Often these cells will be sourced from the patient's own bone marrow or adipose tissue (fat tissue). These types of stem cell treatments are typical in the United States and can easily be distinguished by the cells they use. They may be described as adult, mesenchymal, autologous bone marrow stem cells, hematopoietic stem cells, peripheral blood, adipose, fat, or just multipotent stem cells.
Is this type of stem cell therapy painful?
It can be, due to the extraction process, particularly in the case of bone marrow stem cell treatments. However, the stem cell injections themselves are relatively painless.
This harvesting process and the associated laboratory processing associated with this kind of adult stem cell therapy can increase the cost of this form of stem cell treatment significantly. For this reason, it is not uncommon to see a single stem cell injection (also known as "stem shots", "stem cell shots" or "autologous transplant") cost anywhere between $5000 and $10,000 in the United States.
Variations in the Healing Potential of Stem Cell Types
One very important thing to note is that the (mesenchymal or adult) stem cells in our body age like the rest of us. So, for example, when harvested from the bone marrow of a 75 year old patient, stem cell therapy using these cells will be a less effective form of regenerative medicine than those coming from a 25 year old patient.
This is why many patients dealing with degenerative diseases often seek treatment options like a stem cell transplant from other types of stem cell sources which are non-autologous (not from themselves). Umbilical cord, embryonic, and fetal stem cells fall into this category.
Not only is this type of stem cell "younger", but the patient experience is far more pleasant, as they do not have to undergo a cell harvesting procedure such as bone marrow extraction, or adipose tissue extraction. Instead, donor stem cells are used.
For this reason, many patients receiving these types of stem cell treatments may achieve higher success rates than if they had opted to use their own (autologous) stem cells.
Non-Autologous Stem Cell Treatments
A non-autologous stem cell treatment (also known as an allogeneic transplant) uses healthy donor cells containing DNA that does not match the patient who will be receiving the stem cell transplant. They can be categorized as follows:
- Umbilical stem cell treatments use mesenchymal stem cells that are derived from the umbilical cord tissue or umbilical cord blood. Their genetically determined function is to repair skin, conjunctive tissues, muscle, and tendon damage.
- Embryonic stem cell treatment uses cells derived from the inner cell mass of a 100-200 cell blastocyst. These types of cells are often called the "mother of all stem cells" because all other types of stem cells originate from them. Embryonic stem cells are unique in that they release epigenetic reprogramming factors such as Yamanaka factors which can turn back the clock on injured tissue within the body.
- Placenta stem cells are harvested from the placenta at the time of childbirth and are then processed in a laboratory. Placenta derived stem cells are multipotent, meaning they have the ability to differentiate into multiple cell types. However, these cells do not possess the same pluripotency as embryonic stem cells, which is the ability to differentiate into any cell type in the body.
- Fetal stem cell treatment uses cells taken from a 6-week old aborted fetus and are considered unethical for this reason. They contain a variety of adult stem cells. Treatment with this type of cell is considered an experimental procedure and has been associated with some types of cancer.
Stem Cell Therapy Cost for Chronic Systemic Diseases
The cost of stem cell treatment protocols that requires a whole-body approach that is tailored to chronic diseases is usually in the upper end of the range. Mesenchymal stem cell therapy treatment can range from $20,000 to $100,000 for whole body treatment. They are typically offered for diseases or health conditions like:
- Alzheimer's disease, dementia and, other neurodegenerative diseases
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
- Autoimmune Conditions
- Brain Injuries
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Cerebral Palsy
- Chronic pain
- Heart Disease / Heart attacks
- Injured tissue
- Joint pain
- Kidney failure
- Liver Disease / Liver Failure
- Lyme Disease
- Multiple sclerosis (MS)
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Neurological conditions
- Pain management
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Spinal cord injury
- Tendon injuries
How Much Do Stem Cell Injections Cost?
Unlike stem cell IV therapy (intravenous infusion), local stem cell injections are direct injections into a specific area of the body and make up a part of what is referred to as Stem Cell Therapy. In the United States, the stem cell therapy cost for this type of treatment is usually priced at the lower end of the scale.
The cost of stem cell injections varies quite a lot. The stem cell therapy cost of an adult stem cell injection is typically between $5000 - $10,000 USD. Stem cell injections of this type can be a good treatment option for treating patients with joint pain such as a knee joint, knee pain, shoulder joints, ligaments, tendons etc. Stem cell injections cost around $5000 per knee. Pain relief from single injections of this stem cell type typically only last 2-6 months.
What about Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP Therapy)?
While cellular therapies like PRP are not technically stem cell therapy, this procedure is sometimes offered before stem cell treatment or in conjunction with it. It uses blood extracted from the patient to create a platelet-rich plasma which is then injected into the injured area. This helps repair damaged tissue and speed up healing.
As an example, PRP therapy treatment for knees costs $1,000-$2,500 per knee depending on the number of treatments needed for the patient.
Stem Cell Treatment Facilities Outside the USA
Stem cell tourism is becoming increasingly popular. Strict regulations surrounding stem cell therapy in the United States, as well as the high price of stem cell treatments there, has many people seeking alternative stem cell types in other parts of the globe.
For example, despite many peer-reviewed publications on the benefits of pluripotent stem cell therapies, treatment with this kind of stem cell is still unavailable within the USA due to FDA guidelines. For this reason, and the lower stem cell therapy cost, many will find treatment at stem cell clinics or stem cell institutes in Mexico, Panama, Costa Rica, or the Cayman Islands to be a viable treatment option.
Why choose Stemaid Institute in Los Cabos, Mexico for Stem Cell Therapy?
- Stemaid Institute is the only stem cell institute that provides patients with treatment using pluripotent stem cells (hPSC), which are the only type able to signal the healing process in all 200+ cell types of the body. For this reason they are very useful in treating chronic systemic diseases.
- Peer-reviewed studies within the stem cell field confirm the beneficial effect of hPSC for a wide range of conditions, including degenerative conditions.
- hPSC contain proteins, peptides, growth factors, telomere longating factors, yamanaka factors, and DNA repair factors that are not found in other stem cell types.
- Stemaid Institute does not harvest stem cells from the patient, avoiding the risks and adverse events associated with this medical procedure.
- The stem cell therapy cost for a single stem cell injection or IV of hPSC is around $1000-$1500 USD, instead of $5000 to $10,000 for the less effective adult/mesenchymal stem cell therapy that are currently available in the USA.
- Stemaid Institute also provides pluripotent exosome therapy with one of our other stem cell products called Plurisomes™.
- We culture only healthy stem cells in our own laboratory, so they provide consistent therapeutic potential, instead of patient-derived cells that become less healthy as one ages and therefor less effective at healing.
- The cells are never re-frozen prior to application, so they do not degrade or die due to being shipped frozen from elsewhere - as is often the case with umbilical cord stem cell therapy.
- Stemaid Institute's doctors aim to discover and treat the root cause of the condition in all of our patients, providing a customized whole body treatment plan, not merely alleviating a few symptoms.
- Our stem cell therapy cost in Mexico is much lower than in the United States. For the same cost as 3 or 4 multipotent stem cell injections in the USA, you could fly to Los Cabos, Mexico, stay in beautiful accommodation by the beach for 2-4 weeks, and receive our treatment protocol of 12-24 pluripotent injections at our stem cell clinic for a few hours each day, 6 days per week, all the while receiving other included alternative therapies like ozone, chelation and physical therapy to help improve your condition.
- The medical staff are attentive and care about each and every one of their patients.
- Our stem cell facility in Mexico is just a couple of hours flight from the airport of Los Angeles or San Diego (California), Houston (Texas), Phoenix (Arizona), and Tijuana (Mexico).
- It's Cabo - who wouldn't enjoy spending time there!