Bone Marrow Treatment for Pulmonary Fibrosis
Treating Pulmonary Fibrosis With Stem Cells
Pulmonary fibrosis is a disease in which the lungs become scarred, causing the intricate passageways inside the lungs to thicken and harden. Hardening of passageways inside the lungs makes it difficult for oxygen to pass through the walls of the tiny air sacs (alveoli) into the bloodstream. The lack of oxygen in the bloodstream leaves sufferers of pulmonary fibrosis short of breath even after periods of prolonged rest. Pulmonary fibrosis is a progressive disease in which sufferers get worse over time, sometimes slowly and other times rapidly.
Previously treatment options for those suffering from pulmonary fibrosis have been extremely limited and costly, ranging from daily medication to a lung reduction or transplant. Today, however, relatively new technology gives lung disease sufferers an alternative option. Minimally invasive bone marrow treatments for lung disease have helped several patients regain a better quality of life. The Lung Institute specializes in stem cell therapy treatments for those suffering from lung disease.
So how does bone marrow stem cell therapy work? Over the course of three days, a patient’s stem cells will be harvested from his or her bone marrow, processed and reintroduced into their body. After reintroduction, the stem cells can begin to promote healing and improve lung function. Everyone has stem cells in their own body that act the body’s system to promote healing. Extracting and reintroducing stem cells to certain damaged areas of the body accelerates this process.
What Can You Expect
The bone marrow procedure is a hybrid treatment that takes place over the course of three days in a clinical outpatient setting. Before treatment can begin, the patient must complete all bloodwork, paperwork and prerequisite testing, which typically includes an electrocardiogram (EKG) and a pulmonary function test. After this necessary evaluation, the patient can visit one of our state-of-the-art Lung Institute clinics to begin treatment.
For the next few days, the patient will spend a few hours in the clinic each day. On the first day of treatment, the patient will receive the venous procedure, which uses an IV to collect a blood sample. The second day consists of the bone marrow aspiration, which removes a small amount of bone marrow fluid. Each day, the clinicians will process the stem cells from the blood or bone marrow so that they can be reintroduced to the damaged area intravenously. After reintroduction, the stem cells can begin to slow down the progression of the disease and improve your lung function.
Patients are often surprised by the simplicity of these minimally invasive procedures, but with cutting-edge technology and a patient-centric clinical team, patients can rest assured that they are in good hands. Throughout the entire treatment process, patients have the opportunity to get any questions immediately answered by our knowledgeable medical staff. The Lung Institute clinical team remains in contact with patients after treatment and works together with the patient’s physician and pulmonologist to create a strong support system for the patient.