Doctor Measures Blood Pressure

Chronic chest pain, or angina, is a condition that occurs when patients with blocked arteries don’t get enough oxygen-rich blood to the heart. In addition, patients who have had a heart attack might develop different types of chest pain because the damage prevents the heart from performing at optimal capacity. Because chest pain is a common symptom among heart patients, it is referred to and treated as a separate medical condition. Some patients report their symptoms feel more like indigestion or heartburn, while others experience:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Cramps
  • Heaviness in the chest
  • A squeezing, tightening or burning in the chest
  • Aching behind the breast bone
  • Pain spreading to the shoulders, neck, back or jaw

Treatment for chronic chest pain is usually approached from a number of angles, depending on patient-specific circumstances. Cardiologists aim to reduce symptoms and lower the risk for a heart attack by using medications, various medical procedures and changes in lifestyle. Chest pain caused by coronary artery disease is a progressive condition that, if allowed to worsen, can result in heart attacks and other serious cardiac conditions. In some cases, despite interventional procedures and medications, chest pain can continue to present or worsen. Patients who experience a progression of the condition despite conventional therapies might be candidates for stem cell therapy at Okyanos.

Stem Cell Therapy for Chronic Chest Pain

In delivering adult stem cell therapy for chronic chest pain, one of the fundamental treatment mechanisms is the encouragement of new blood vessel growth (also called angiogenesis). This process can improve blood flow to the heart and reduce symptoms. Clinical trial results have shown strong indications of improved patient symptoms by the following measured benefits:

  • An increased quality of life
  • Lowered cardiac mortality rate
  • Reduced chest pain

For more information on stem cell therapy and chest pain, watch the video below:


The Procedure

Stem cell treatment at Okyanos is a minimally invasive, same-day, outpatient procedure done in our state-of-the-art Cath Lab. Though recovery varies 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:

  1. First, water-assisted fat harvesting is done to obtain a sufficient amount of adipose (fat) tissue.
  2. The unique blend of stem and regenerative cells that exist in adipose tissue are isolated and prepared for delivery using a proprietary, closed, sterile, fully automated, cell processing system. In about 65 minutes, the highly potent SVF is ready for direct injections and IV infusions.
  3. Our expertly-trained cardiologist will perform the procedure, administering the stem cells through a specialized catheter that delivers the SVF to the low pressure, venous side of the heart. We infuse through the coronary sinus, the main vein of the heart, for 10 minutes. The total procedure time is 30 minutes.
  4. The SVF/stem cells might also be administered intravenously (IV) to address the systemic factors relating to cardiac dysfunction.

The Best Care & Safety

Treatment timeframes are usually three days and might vary depending on the personalized plan:

  1. Day 1: Pre-operative session includes an office visit with the medical staff for a detailed review of the patient’s treatment plan and an opportunity to discuss any questions from the patient and family members.
  2. Day 2: The patient undergoes treatment and briefly rests in our comfortable facility before being escorted back to the hotel for the evening.
  3. Day 3: Post-operative session involves a brief physical at Okyanos and a discharge plan discussion. The physician reviews the post treatment recommendations and communication plan, and clears the patient to go home.

For a more detailed understanding of what to expect, watch the video series below with Gretchen Dezelick, RN and Director of Clinical Operations.

For a detailed understanding of stem cell safety at Okyanos, watch our video below.


American Heart Association

US Centers for Disease Control

National Institutes of Health