Stem cells have been in the news recently, and a lot has been said about this therapy. Many people are curious as to what it means and if they can afford it. Due to the efficacy of the procedure, people need to know what it means and the costs involved. We break all this down in this post.
What are stem cells?
Stem cells are tissues that are produced as raw materials by the body. Through stem cells, the body can produce many other specialized stem cells. If placed in the right condition (a laboratory or in the body) a stem cell will divide to create more cells which are known as daughter cells. When they are produced, the daughter cells morph to become specialized cells or they go on to form more stem cells. As specialized cells, they perform specific functions in the body such as bone cells, heart muscle cells, brain cells, and blood cells. There is no other cell in the human body that have the natural capacity to reproduce new types of cells. Because of this function, stems cells are used non-invasively to treat many conditions and diseases. Stem cell therapy involves the use of living cells in the human body to treat injuries or diseases.
What are the factors that affect stem cell therapy costs?
Due to the nature of the cost involved, stem cell therapy can be affected by various factors. The elements that affect the cost of s typical stem cell therapy include:
- The source/type of the stem cell that is used in the procedure
- The number of stem cell treatments used in a procedure
- The quality of the healthcare centre/clinic
- The level of experience of the stem practitioner/physician
Stem cell therapy cost: Why is there so much interest?
A typical stem cell therapy cost usually costs more than an average medical procedure. Why does stem cell therapy cost so high? The cost of a typical stem cell therapy can be high due to the importance of the procedure. Apart from being highly potent in the body against many conditions and diseases, stem cell studies can also be used to uncover new efficiencies. Research in stem cells can be used for various reasons such as:
Help researchers understand disease occurrences: Researchers usually watch and observe the way stem cells morph in the body to form tissues, organs, nerves, muscles, and bones. This way, they can understand the way diseases thrive in the body.
Cell replacement procedures: Stem cells can be used to generate healthy cells to replace damaged cells in the body. When certain cells in the body have been affected or damaged by disease, stem cells can be nurtured to replace such defective cells. A lot of patients with ailments can benefit from stem cell therapies.
Testing new drugs: There are many types of stem cells. Researchers use certain types of stem cells to help test new drugs. The drugs are usually tested for quality and safety. Stem cells help researchers to determine the potency of new drugs.
How much does stem cell therapy cost?
A typical stem cell therapy cost varies by location. In general, stem cell therapy costs can be between $5000 and $50,000. Due to the sophistication of the process, the procedure can cost as much as $100,000.
Many patients will usually pay for their stem cell treatment procedures out-of-pocket if they are not covered by their medical insurance policies. For example, platelet-rich therapy (PRP) which is a procedure that can be used along with stem cell therapy or done separately, costs between $500 and $700. However, in some places, the cost of PRP can be as much as $2,000.
Due to the exorbitant costs associated with stem cell therapies, many people usually wonder what the big deal is about this procedure. If you ever wonder whether stem cell therapy can be an out-of-pocket process, this is because of the efficiency of the procedure. Stem cell therapies can be used as a replacement for shoulder, hip, knee, and back surgeries.
Stem cell therapy can be carried out on a patient rather than surgery. Another importance of stem cell therapies is that they are non-invasive procedures. Patients usually do not feel any pain during the process.
Stem cell therapies: Why are they so important?
Many patients usually choose stem cell therapy over surgery due to the many benefits of the procedure over surgery. In comparison to surgery, stem cell procedures have benefits such as:
- They are usually minimally invasive
- The effects of the procedure can be felt within a few days
- Short and easy recovery
- Outpatient treatments are usually possible with the procedure
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