Just When I Thought I Heard Everything About “Fake” Stem Cell Clinics, I Was Shocked.
“Fake” stem cell clinics are sprouting everywhere like weed, scamming vulnerable patients. These fake stem cell clinics are not only thinning the patients’ wallets but they are also maligning the reputation of stem cells. Yes, the “fake” stem cell clinics are getting media attention lately but is not nearly enough.
As someone who keenly follows this subject, I thought I had seen and heard it all but I was shocked recently. During the middle of my office hours, I got a message that a lady from California wanted to talk to me about stem cells. I was surprised as my practice is in Cincinnati, about 2000 miles away. I called her after finishing up my clinic and the story unraveled.
Her husband who was a firefighter was suffering from knee pain. They attended a chiropractor led stem cell seminar which led to an office visit, the next day. Multiple x-rays were done to check various joints and not unexpectedly they found arthritis in many of the “non-painful” joints. At the consult, she was told the following.
Five joints other than the painful knee had arthritis
These five non-painful joints also need injections to reverse the arthritis
The patient would need a total of 6 injections.
Each joint would need 1 cc of umbilical cord stem cells
What was the total cost? Take a wild guess. I bet you won’t come close. When I heard it, I almost fell off the chair.
You have to be sick to scam a firefighter who risks his life to save others. The sticker shock prompted the wife to research online and found my blog regarding the fake stem cell clinics. During my conversation, I informed that:
Umbilical cord blood which is not FDA approved, has very few mesenchymal stem cells and these few cells do not survive the collection, processing, sterilizing and the shock thawing process. It does have growth factors and should be called growth factor therapy and not stem cell therapy. There is a risk of bacterial contamination and virus transmission with umbilical cord products.
Stem cell therapy would not work unless placed in the right areas by a physician who is experienced
I did refer her to a local reputable stem cell clinic.
Since its a cash pay procedure, when these fake stem cell clinics see a patient, they see cash. They don’t see a patient. Unfortunately, our government does not have enough resources to protect patients from these sharks.
So, do your research before you sign up. It’s your hard earned money. Most importantly, it’s your health.
Dr. Sairam Atluri is a pioneer of stem cell therapy in the Cincinnati area. He is one of the very few in the country performing intra-discal and subchondral injections to treat back pain and joint pain. He gives national talks and teaches other physicians about stem cell therapy. He is also a co-editor of one of the largest textbooks about regenerative medicine. Dr. Atluri is part of the team which wrote the ASIPP guidelines for stem cells to treat back pain. He is one of the few in the area to be certified in Regenerative Medicine by American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians [ASIPP].