Your heart is vital to life, pumping out around 2,000 gallons of oxygen-rich blood throughout the body every single day. When a heart attack or severe coronary artery disease damages the normal pumping function of your heart, the result can be devastating.
Okyanos Cardiac Cell Therapy is a new option for patients living with debilitating symptoms of heart disease severely impacting normal, daily activities. This treatment delivers adult stem cells, derived from your own body fat, directly and safely to your heart for improved pumping function, symptomatic relief and a more normal life.
Introduction to Okyanos and Cardiac Cell Therapy
A 2-minute overview of Okyanos and the history of stem cell treatments. We believe that adult stem cell therapy for severe heart disease, what we call “Okyanos Cardiac Cell Therapy,” is the next phase in the evolution of cardiac care.
Targeting Heart Disease Symptoms
Heart disease manifests in different ways for each patient, but many with severe heart conditions like coronary artery disease or congestive heart failure experience:
- Persistent fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Regular chest pains (angina)
- Limitations on exercise and other physical activity
Cell therapy not only targets these symptoms to provide relief but also, through the restorative mechanisms of the stem cells themselves, works to repair the heart for better pumping function. This equates to better breathing, improved ability to exercise or perform physical activity as well as reduced chest pains and improved energy levels.
Adult Stem Cell Therapy: Improving Heart Function
Adult stem cells could be thought of as small “doctors” who go to work healing and repairing the body on a daily basis. Stem cells exist throughout our bodies in various tissues and are responsible for healing cuts and bruises and helping us recover from every day wear-and-tear.
During your cardiac cell therapy, adult stem cells will be delivered to your heart through a catheter, however they will not stay there for more than a few days. Fascinatingly, during their brief time in and around your damaged heart muscle, these cell “doctors” secrete proteins and growth factors, and we eventually begin to see them turn on the heart’s native ability to repair itself.
What Happens When The Cells Go Into Your Heart?
The stem cells which reside in your own body fat (or adipose tissue) have a few important functions that are of particular interest to healing a damaged heart.
- Your own adult stem cells can stimulate the growth of new blood vessels, a process known as angiogenesis, which leads to improved blood flow in the heart.
- These cells also provide an anti-inflammatory effect which aids in healing.
- Further, they attach themselves to damaged tissue and recruit other cells necessary for repairing or replacing damaged heart tissue.
- Adult stem cells also aid in reducing the size of the scar tissue which forms on the heart after a heart attack, known as an infarct.
- Last but not least, your own fat-derived stem cells can prevent premature heart muscle cell death.
Cardiac Stem Cell Therapy: The Procedure
Cardiac stem cell treatment at Okyanos is a minimally invasive, same-day outpatient procedure very similar to an angioplasty. Though recovery can and does vary from patient to patient, our protocols are designed and carried out with the goal of keeping “downtime” to a minimum. A general overview of the procedure is as follows:
- First, water-assisted fat harvesting is done to obtain about a cup of adipose (fat) tissue.
- The unique blend of stem and regenerative cells which exist in the adipose tissue are then isolated and prepared utilizing an EU-approved, closed/sterile, fully automated CGMP cell processing system.
- Following a period of approximately 2-2 ½ hours of rest and recovery, adult stem and regenerative cells are delivered into the myocardium (heart muscle) via a catheter inserted in the groin. Cells may also be delivered intravenously to address the systemic factors relating to cardiovascular disease. This combination of IV and direct injection is a standard technique developed by doctors at Okyanos. Direct myocardium injections are performed using our state-of-the art Phillips bi-plane cath lab and advanced imaging system.
To learn more about Okyanos Cardiac Cell Therapy for cardiovascular disease or heart failure, contact a Patient Liaison to request a free educational consultation or dial 855-OKYANOS (855-659-2667).
Based in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Okyanos brings a new standard of care and a better quality of life to patients with coronary artery disease, tissue ischemia, autoimmune diseases, and other chronic neurological and orthopedic conditions. Okyanos Cell Therapy utilizes a unique blend of stem and regenerative cells derived from patients’ own adipose (fat) tissue which helps improve blood flow, moderate destructive immune response and prevent further cell death. Okyanos is fully licensed under the Bahamas Stem Cell Therapy and Research Act and adheres to U.S. surgical center standards. The literary name Okyanos, the Greek god of the river Okyanos, symbolizes restoration of blood flow.
Can Stem Cells Repair a Damaged Heart?. (n.d.). In Stem Cell Information. Retrieved March 9, 2012, from http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/scireport/chapter9.asp
Schaper, W. (2011, October 20). Collateral Vessels Reduce Mortality. European Heart Journal, 33(5), 564-566, from http://eurheartj.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/10/20/eurheartj.ehr385
Effect of Human Adipose Derived Stem Cells on Scar Formation and Remodeling in a Pig Model: A Pilot Study (July 16, 2012) in Results and Conclusions. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22804839
Adipose-Derived Regenerative Cells Improve Cardiac Functional Capacity at 18 Months in Chronic Ischemic Heart Disease Patients; Statistically Significant Improvement in MVO2 Reported by Cytori at American Heart Association (November, 2010). Retrieved from http://ir.cytori.com/investor-relations/News/news-details/2010/adipose-derived-regenerative-cells-improve-cardiac-functional-capacity-at-18-months-in-chronic-ischemic-heart-disease-patient/default.aspx
Fat Tissue: An Underappreciated Source of Stem Cells for Biotechnology (April, 2006) in Trends in Biotechnology. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16488036