Frequently Asked Questions

At the Stem Cells Transplant Institute, we believe stem cell therapy should not be reserved for only the rich and famous, and this is reflected in our excellent customer service and affordable pricing.

The Stem Cells Transplant Institute is a government regulated facility. We have met and adhere to all strict governmental regulations to ensure high quality control and excellent patient care.

As the Central America and Chapter Director for the International Society for Stem Cell Application (ISSCA), Dr. Mesen and the Stem Cells Transplant Institute helps set the standards for cell-based medicine in Central America and around the world.

Our physicians are all board certified and members of the American Academy of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine. 

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Fees for services start at:

$5,900 USD for adipose and bone marrow derived stem cell therapy and

$8,500 for adult mesenchymal umbilical cord stem cells.

The fees include:

  • Stem cell treatment
  • Antioxidant therapy
  • IV Ozone therapy
  • IV Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy

Food, Transportation and Hotel Accommodations are not included.

It is unlikely your insurance will pay for stem cell treatment but at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute we want to make stem cell therapy and its benefits available to as many people as possible and so we offer extremely competitive pricing.

Every patient is unique and response to stem cell therapy can differ from patient to patient. There is no guarantee what the results will be or how quickly a patient will respond to treatment. Stem cell therapy does not work immediately. Most patients will not experience immediate results although some patients have experienced some changes during the course of treatment. Most patients will notice some improvement within 1-3 months following treatment and can continue to improve for up to 1 year following treatment.

Stem cell therapy is a type of treatment option that uses a patients’ own stem cells or the stem cells from umbilical cord blood or tissue to repair and regenerate tissue. Stem Cell Therapy (SCT) is used to treat various disorders from non-serious to life threatening. The stem cells can be procured from a lot of different sources and used to potentially treat more than 80 disorders, including neuromuscular and degenerative disorders.

Therapy using stem cells from various sources, including those from bone marrow and umbilical cord, have been successfully used to treat a number of life-threatening diseases with good results, since 1988. Over the past few years, with an increased focus on research and development, a growing number of successful stem cell treatments have emerged and it has become one of the most exciting fields of medicine.

Degenerative disorders arise from degeneration or wear and tear of bone, cartilage, muscle, fat or any other tissue, cell or organ. This can occur for a variety of reasons, but aging is the most common cause. The disorders have a slow and insidious onset but once contracted, they are chronic, painful and increasingly debilitating. These disorders can affect any organ of the body but some of the common degenerative disorders include; diabetes, osteoarthritis, stroke, chronic renal failure, congestive cardiac failure, myocardial infarction, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease etc.

Stem cells are a type of progenitor cell, or undifferentiated cell that have the ability to differentiate, or change, into specific and specialized cell types.

Stem cells can be guided into becoming a specific type of cell allowing physicians trained in the field of regenerative medicine to use stem cells to repair diseased or damage tissue.

Once injected, stem cells are attracted to the site of injury and then change into the type of cell that is needed to repair or heal the damaged tissue.

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) naturally repair injured or diseased tissue, however, a person suffering from a severe injury or degenerative disease, may not have sufficient quantities of stem cells, or may not be able to release the stem cells quickly enough to repair the damaged tissue.

Research has shown mesenchymal stem cells have the ability to regenerate damaged or injured tissue, modulate the immune system, decrease pro-inflammatory mediators, release growth factors, cytokines and chemokines that aid healing and in the formation of new blood vessels while suppressing inflammation.

Mesenchymal stem cells have the ability to:

  • Promote self-healing
  • Have potent anti-inflammatory capabilities
  • Modulate abnormal immune system responses
  • Prevent additional premature cell and tissue damage
  • Reduce scarring
  • Stimulate new blood vessel growth improving blood flow

Different medical conditions require different treatments; additionally, each patient is unique and requires individualized care. For a basic overview of our recommended protocol, please view the specific condition you are interested in under “Conditions Treated”. If you do not see your condition listed, please fill out the Apply form and we will connect you with a specialist.

The administration of treatment will depend on what condition and symptoms are being treated. Stem cell may be administered locally at the site of injury or pain, intravenously, intrathecally or via a nebulizer. 

Drinking and smoking can significantly decrease the efficacy of stem cell therapy. To ensure optimal results, we advise patients to stop drinking and smoking before and immediately following their stem cell treatment.

The Republic of Costa Rica is the oldest and most stable democracy in Central America. Although Costa Rica has no military force it employs a very large police force, traffic force and Coast Guard all of which work together to make the country a safe and fun place to visit.

The Stem Cells Transplant Institute is located in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica and home to more than 15 museums and theatres, shopping malls, nightclubs, restaurants and parks.

More than 25% its land is a national park or protected area; Costa Rica is a global leader in sustainable conservation. It has more than 161 parks and refuges and is known for its beaches, volcanoes and biodiversity.

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The Stem Cells Transplant Institute is a government regulated facility. We have met and adhere to all strict governmental regulations to ensure high quality control and excellent patient care.

The Stem Cells Transplant Institute is connected to CIMA Hospital, a full service, acute care, private hospital.

CIMA Hospital is the largest and most specialized hospital in Central America and uses state-of-the-art equipment, the most advanced healthcare technology, and highly qualified medical professionals to ensure every patient receives excellent care and service.

The Stem Cells Transplant Institute and CIMA Hospital are accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI), a “not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality and safety of patient care around the world. JCI accreditation is considered the gold standard in global health care.” 

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At the Stem Cells Transplant Institute in Costa Rica we offer

  1. Stem cells derived from adipose tissue
  2. Stem cells derived from bone marrow
  3. Umbilical cord-derived stem cells

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are ideal for treating many kinds of injuries and diseases and can be derived from many different kinds of tissue including bone marrow, adipose tissue, and cord blood. 

Bone marrow derived MSCs (BMSC) can be extracted from a patient or a donor by aspiration, typically from the iliac crest or sternum. Bone marrow stem cells are most commonly used in bone marrow transplants in patients diagnosed with leukemia or certain types of hematopoietic disease. Studies have shown bone marrow derived stem cells to be an effective treatment for some chronic or degenerative disorders. The process for extracting MSCs from bone marrow can be painful but we make every effort to reduce any possible pain to the patient.

Adipose derived MSCs (AMSC) are surgically extracted from a patient’s own fat tissue, using liposuction. Adipose tissue is easily accessible and provides an abundant rich source of multipotent adult stem cells. These type of stem cells are quickly and easily collected, additionally, only a small amount of adipose tissue is needed. The process for collecting adipose derived stem cells is less invasive, safer, less painful and faster than collecting MSCs from bone marrow.

Umbilical cord derived MSCs (HUCT-MSC) Based on clinical research, we use umbilical cord stem cells (UCMSCs) for the treatment of certain conditions such as neurodegenerative, autoimmune, and inflammatory diseases. UCMSCs are derived from umbilical cord donations after informed consent has been given by the parent or parents and after the baby has been delivered. The procedure is safe and painless for both the child and mother.

Stem cells are a type of undifferentiated cell that have the ability to differentiate, or change, into specific and specialized cell types.

Stem cells can be guided into becoming a specific type of cell allowing physicians trained in the field of regenerative medicine to use stem cells to repair diseased or damage tissue.

Stem cells are attracted to the site of injury and then change into the type of cell that is needed to repair or heal the damaged tissue.

Stem cells come from two main sources; embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells.  Adult stem cells do not require the destruction of an embryo and their collection and use in research is not controversial. Adult stem cells are undifferentiated totipotent or multipotent cells, found throughout the body after embryonic development.

Stem cells are also classified based on where they are collected from; allogenic stem cells are collected from the same species, xenogeneic stem cells are collected from a different species, and autologous stem cells are collected from the intended recipient.

Stem cells can be classified by the extent to which they can differentiate into different cell types. These four main classifications are totipotent, pluripotent, multipotent, or unipotent.

Mesenchymal stem cells, or MSCs, are adult multipotent stromal cells that can differentiate into a variety of cell types, including: osteoblasts (bone cells), chondrocytes (cartilage cells), myocytes (muscle cells) and adipocytes (fat cells).

MSCs help regulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, heal scarring, and reduce cell death.

The goal of stem cell therapy is to use a patient’s own renewable source of replacement cells to treat both common and life-threating disorders without the need for organ transplants or other surgery and reduce or eliminate the need for expensive pharmaceuticals and their potentially devastating side effects

The ability of stem cells to differentiate, or turn into any cell type that the body needs, means they have the potential to treat diseases involving damaged tissue(s). This is an exciting and promising area for medicine that may revolutionize the treatment of many diseases.

Currently, the Stem Cells Transplant Institute uses adult, adipose derived, autologous stem cells to treat:

  • Abundant supply containing up to 10 times more stem cells than bone marrow or adipose derived stem cells
  • Greater proliferation ability than adult stem cells
  • They regenerate at a very rapid rate
  • They are young and very adaptive
  • They have not been impacted by the aging process
  • They have not been affected by environmental toxins
  • Abundant supply containing up to 10 times more stem cells than bone marrow or adipose derived stem cells
  • Greater proliferation ability than adult stem cells
  • They regenerate at a very rapid rate
  • They are young and very adaptive
  • They have not been impacted by the aging process
  • They have not been affected by environmental toxins

Procedure for Adipose Derived Stem Cells (ADSC)

On the day of the procedure, under sterile conditions, a small sample Adipose tissue (fat) is removed from the abdomen under local anesthesia

The laboratory staff isolate the Adult Stem Cells (ASCs) and other progenitor cells in a sterile environment from the collected fat sample. A sterile technique means the cells are not exposed to air particles and contaminants and no contamination occurs. The collected ASC are separated using density gradient centrifugation before counting the cells using a Neubauer chamber. The resulting cells are re-suspended to prepare 5~10 ml ASC to be injected intravenously and at the local site.

Procedure for Bone Marrow Derived Stem Cells (BMDSC)

On the day of the procedure, the bone marrow is collected under sterile conditions under local anesthesia. About three milliliters per kg of marrow are collected from the posterior iliac crests bilaterally. The marrow is aspirated using a gauge 8 needle into a syringe containing heparin sodium at 10% concentration. The collected BM-MNSCs are separated using density gradient centrifugation before counting the cells using a Neubauer chamber. The resulting cells are re-suspended to prepare 5~10 ml BM-MNSCs to be injected intravenously and at the local site.

We use only umbilical cord stem cells that are derived exclusively from umbilical cord donations.  The umbilical cord stem cells from are collected after informed consent has been given by the parent or parents and only after the delivery of the baby. The collection follows strict ethical protocols ensuring the stem cells are from safe, reliable sources using a non-invasive, simple and painless procedure.  For Parents typically don’t even notice the trained obstetrician is even collecting the cord blood. Once collected, the cord blood is then screened for disease. Any blood that is contaminated or infected is destroyed.

Stem cells are like building blocks that can be encouraged to form into new, healthy tissues to replace diseased or injured cells, such as growing new knee cartilage, or helping to speed healing in various areas of the body. Normally, adult stem cells are present, but not activated. Known as progenitor cells, adult stem cells remain dormant until required. Presently, it is not clear if the cells change into the necessary type of cell or if they simply start and or encourage the healing cascade, but we do know that they carry reparative capabilities that can be used to promote healing at a cellular level.

With the ongoing advances in regenerative medicine, the number of patients benefiting from stem cell therapies continues to grow by the day. A retrospective observational study published in Lancet Haematology in 2012 showed well over 1 million patients had undergone stem cell therapy involving the use of adult stem cells. Since then more and more patients have experienced the benefits of stem cell therapy

According to the US National Library of Health there are over 3,300 interventional studies evaluating adult stem cell treatment for many different diseases and conditions.

When it comes to the use of stem cells in various fields of medicine, there is a lengthy track record of success that stretches back for more than 50 years. Over the course of these five decades, doctors primarily relied on bone marrow transplants to deliver stem cells to patients suffering from blood disorders or conditions like lymphoma and leukemia.

In recent years, however, doctors and researchers have developed a number of alternative methods for securing and deploying stem cells, leading to the development of autologous adipose-derived stem cell therapies.

While there is substantial anecdotal and experimental evidence demonstrating the safety and efficacy of these recently developed stem cell therapies, it may take several years to accumulate the amount of data necessary to produce a definitive study. Based on the data now available, favorable patient outcomes correlate rather convincingly with the sheer quantity of stem cells redeployed into the patient.

There is always some level of risk accompanying any medical procedure, including procedures that are commonly characterized as “routine.” In the case of stem cell therapy, the level of risk associated with the procedure is exceptionally low and patients are very unlikely to experience complications stemming from treatment.

The fact that the stem cells utilized during the procedure are derived from the patient’s own adipose tissue and remain protected in a closed, sterile loop until they are redeployed into the patient minimizes the risk of infection or rejection. During the initial consultation process, patients should expect the doctor to detail any potential risks or complications associated with the procedure.

Immediately following stem cell therapy and sometimes up to 72 hours post treatment, patients may experience minor side effects such as headache, nausea or dizziness.

For the first week following treatment, patients may experience a worsening of symptoms related to the condition treated. The stem cells have found the area of damage that needs to be targeted.

No long-term adverse events have been reported.

We have not had issues with rejection. We use your own stem cells which your body will not reject or we are using the mesenchymal stem cells from the umbilical cord and these cells have immunosuppressors and immunomodulatory properties that allow their use in any individual without rejection. The cells do not express HLA-DR the antigen responsible for rejection. In fact, mesenchymal stem cells are approved in Canada and New Zealand to treat issues due to rejection.

Teratomas (a form of tumor) are extremely rare, usually benign, and related to embryonic cells, not the adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that we utilize in our stem cell treatments. There is no evidence that adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) cause cancer.

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