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Another successful conference has come and gone. As difficult as it was to stay indoors while the beautiful Park City sun was shining, Dr. Rosenthal captivated everyone’s attention teaching PRP and Autologous Stem Cell harvesting and injection techniques. We had a great turn out of physicians from around the country and Canada who had tremendous knowledge that added to the educational experience for everyone. This conference was focused on Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) collection, bone marrow and adipose aspirate harvesting. We also had the pleasure of having George Change Chein, D.O. here to share his ultrasound guidance expertise with everyone. We started out the conference with lectures by Dr. Rosenthal , reviewing the medical science behind PRP and stem cell therapy, and Dr. Chang Chein on ultrasound guidance. Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning were dedicated to practicum on live patients. With no shortage of patients wanting to experience the healing properties of PRP and stem cells, we were able to perform the procedures on live patients, rather than using a cadaver.
We performed three PRP collections, one bone marrow aspirate and one adipose aspirate for injection. In the practicum with live patients, we reviewed the collection methods for each type of injection. To collect Platelet Rich Plasma, it is a simple blood draw. We collect about 60 cc of venous blood in a syringe and then put the blood into a special blood-separating vial that spins for about 10 minutes in the centrifuge. After the blood is spun down you can see three different layers of blood: the platelet poor plasma, the platelet rich plasma, and on the bottom, the red blood cells. With the special vial and a syringe, we are able to siphon off the platelet poor plasma and only get the good platelet rich plasma into the syringe to inject into the patient’s affected joint. The collection method for the bone marrow and adipose aspirate are a little more involved than the PRP. These harvestings both have to be performed by a physician under sterile conditions. For bone marrow aspirate, the doctor puts a tool into the bone of the iliac crest and then slowly inserts into the bone to collect 5 cc of bone marrow in each area until he has collected 60 cc.
For the adipose harvesting, the doctor numbs the area that he is harvesting from, inserts the infiltrating needle under the skin, followed by the harvester into the patient’s fat tissues, moving the harvester until the desired amount is collected. The rest of the process is then similar to PRP in that it is put in a special separating vial, spun in a centrifuge and then the stem cells are carefully collected from the separated layers of bone marrow or adipose. It was very interesting to watch the harvesting and injections. It will be exciting to follow our patients and see how they progress. Although the focus of the conferences is always PRP and stem cell harvesting and injections, each conference varies to a great extent due to the knowledge and experience brought in by each group of physicians. We are looking forward to what is in store for our future conferences.