Bahrain centre offers stem cell treatments
Manama, March 21, 2014
A revolutionary treatment that uses stem cells to treat a huge array of medical complaints is now available in Bahrain for the first time, a report said.
The treatment involves using stem cells from a patient's fat, meaning there are no ethical dilemmas associated with harvesting stem cells from unborn babies, the Gulf Daily News (GDN) report said.
The treatment is now available at King Abdullah Medical Centre Bahrain, in Zinj, which opened what is described as the first stem cell treatment centre in the Middle East and North Africa yesterday.
It can be used to cure or treat a variety of diseases and disorders including asthma, congestive heart failure, stroke, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, erectile dysfunction, joint problems including arthritis, spine degenerative disc disease, lupus, Crohn's disease, painful bladder syndrome, hair loss, breast augmentation, diabetes and more, the centre said.
The technology can even be used to perform a non-invasive facelift.
Doctors extract stem cells from a patient's fat using liposuction which are then injected into the afflicted area of the body.
The new treatment was announced yesterday in a Press conference at the King Abdullah Medical Centre Bahrain, following the recovery of the first patient to undergo the procedure last month, the GDN report said.
"We have done the first stem cell treatment for a patient suffering for years from sacroiliitis (inflammation of joints where the spine and pelvis meet)," said King Abdullah Medical Centre Bahrain consultant plastic surgeon Dr Pierre Clero.
"We are the first facility in the Middle East and I think Africa to offer this kind of regenerative stem cell treatment. In a case of sacroiliitis there is really no treatment - and the treatment there is, is more about pain management.
"But with this treatment we were able to see almost 100 per cent of the inflammation gone in only a few weeks."
The first patient to undergo stem cell treatment in the GCC was a young woman from Switzerland, who travelled to Bahrain for a second opinion after being misdiagnosed.
She was originally told she had a problem with a spinal disc, but after doctors in Bahrain identified the real cause of pain she was scheduled for surgery last month - and in less than three weeks was pain-free and almost completely healed.
"The technique is autologous - which means we take all the genetic material from the patient and inject it back into them in the same procedure," said Dr Clero.
"In this case the whole procedure was done in three-and-a-half hours. It took 30 minutes for the liposuction, about 20 minutes for the needle placement and the rest was the process for extracting the stem cells.
"It is an outpatient procedure, which means that you will go home the same day," said Dr Clero.
The treatment is so versatile that it can even be used as an alternative treatment for knee replacement.
However, it is not cheap and is only available privately at a cost of around BD7,500.
Although it has been used in the US and some countries in Europe for the past five years, insurance companies do not cover the procedure because it is regarded as being too new. - TradeArabia News Service