Benefits of stem cell therapy include better organ function, better metabolism, and less muscular and joint pains.
WORDS ZSARLENE B. CHUA | ILLUSTRATION JOY DELA CRUZ DAGUN
Aging might not be inevitable after all—that is, if one is inclined to undergo Vietura’s Regenerative Cell Therapy procedure, which involves getting stem cells from one’s own adipose tissue before processing it and reintroducing it to the body to help it heal. Or, in the words of Vietura’s medical director, the procedure is meant to “restart the body.”
“It’s resetting your body metabolism. It’s really amazing because I did the procedure three years before we introduced it,” Dr. Mary Jane Torres, medical director of Vietura and Zen Institute, told High Life during an interview in May.
Stem cells by definition are “undifferentiated cells present in multicellular organisms capable of giving rise to more cells of the same type from which other kinds of cells can arise by differentiation.”
Prior to the procedure, Dr. Torres suffered from persistent knee pain that made it difficult for her to work out for long stretches of time. Benefits of stem cell therapy include better organ function, better metabolism, and less muscular and joint pains.
While most people over the age of 35 can undergo stem cell therapy, there are certain precautions: prospective patients must be cleared by the doctors, who must evaluate the health of their immune systems. Stem cell therapy isn’t recommended for people with active cancer, for example, since their immune systems are compromised. The same goes for those with HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Patients on anticoagulant therapy should also think twice.
A person must also be psychologically ready to undergo treatment. The procedure needs to extract fat from the patient via liposuction, which requires local anesthesia. The payoff of stem cell therapy versus “entry-level” procedures such as colonics, said Dr. Torres, is that the former’s effects are “longer and deeper”: “Stem cell therapy can really prevent degenerative diseases and delay the aging process because cells are given more time to divide and live. It can boost the immune system and regenerate cells.”
Those who have been cleared to undergo the procedure will then be taken into a sterile room (Vietura will open its sterile room this June while Zen Institute in Quezon City already has an operational one). It is here that the patient undergoes manual liposuction under local anesthesia: 150 ml of fat is aspirated and centrifuged to separate the fat/lipid component from the stromal vascular fraction that contains stem cells.
After the separation, the stem cells are counted to ensure adequacy—there should be no less than six million cells—if the count is high enough, the cells are then injected back into the patient.
The process doesn’t stop there as results largely depend on the body’s own regenerative healing ability and it may take time—usually between four to six weeks—to see improvement. In the meantime, Dr. Torres recommended that patients get immune booster shots.
Regenerative cell therapy, which is not a treatment but a preventive procedure, was offered by Vietura in March 2017. “I do recommend doing it every five years because, in that time, your body has aged,” Dr. Torres said. The ambulatory procedure only takes a day but the beauty of being in a hotel, she explained, is that people can stay overnight to rest and enjoy—that is included in Vietura’s Php800,000++ package.
Vietura Aesthetic Center is located at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City. Zen Institute has a branch in 69 Scout Rallos, Diliman, Quezon City. Visit vietura.com and zeninstitute.com.