A progressive condition known as congestive heart failure (CHF), develops when the heart is no longer able to deliver enough blood to the body. Symptoms can differ greatly from patient to patient, depending on other existing conditions, early detection, level of physical activity, and diet. Some of the most commonly reported symptoms of heart failure are: chest pains, fatigue, shortness of breath, water retention, swollen limbs and intolerance to exercise or simple exertion.

Symptoms, prognosis and congestive heart failure treatment vary according to patient-specific details and medical history. Heart failure most commonly develops in individuals who have experienced severe cardiac-related conditions, such as:

  • Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
  • Ischemia (insufficient flow to the heart)
  • Acute myocardial infarction (heart attacks)
  • Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle)
  • Blood clots
  • Prolonged high blood pressure
  • Heart valve issues

Congestive heart failure can be treated in a number of ways, including: surgery, medications, diet and exercise. Despite these conventional methods of heart failure treatment, many patients are left with a congested heart and little hope that their condition can improve.

Adult stem cell therapy can be uniquely beneficial for many patients experiencing symptoms of heart failure.

Stem Cell Therapy Provides a New Option

While it is true that heart failure cannot be cured, the symptoms associated with heart failure can be managed and reduced or improved with stem cell therapy. Adult stem cells derived from adipose (fat) tissue are abundant with anti-inflammatory properties and components that stimulate new blood vessel growth. By supplying the heart with additional blood and oxygen via these new vessels, the heart muscle can begin a process of repairing itself. This is key in treating chronic heart failure symptoms.

For more information on stem cell therapy and heart failure, 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