Frequently asked questions
FAQs about Atlanta Innovative Medicine (AIM)
How are you different than other providers?
There are many good physicians providing regenerative and nonsurgical orthopedic treatments. We believe we may be able to provide a better experience for the following reasons:
- 5-Star Google Rating.
- AIM specializes in Regenerative Medicine and customizes a full program for each patient’s needs. We do not perform surgery and thus have no conflict of interest.
- Treatments include Autologous Adipose Stem Cell Therapy (from your own fat tissue), with the technique of Stromal Vascular Tissue (SVT).
- The autologous adipose SVT is FDA Compliant and contains many millions of one’s own regenerative cells including mesenchymal stem cells, growth factors, and cytokines.
- Multiple providers work together as a team for each patient we serve.
- Licensed Functional Nutritionist on staff to consult with patients, because nutrition affects healing outcomes.
- We treat the loose surrounding ligaments to also stabilize the disc or joint.
- Proprietary treatments to pre-condition, post-condition and optimize the damaged tissue in order to maximize outcomes.
- Available diagnostics include high resolution ultrasound and fluoroscopy.
How long do regenerative therapies take to work?
(Autologous stem cells, PRP, Prolozone, Prolotherapy)
Although some patients may feel a positive change within one week, for many it takes 3 to 8 weeks—depending on the individual’s health, age and the extent of the injury or disease. Continued improvements are experienced for up to 12 months and can be maintained indefinitely; however this varies greatly based on the individual.
How often do I need to repeat my treatment?
The aging process cannot be completely stopped and depending on the individual’s age, health and other factors, treatments may last indefinitely or may need to be repeated at the 4- to 7-year mark. Currently, too little data is available to reliably answer this question.
Are there maintenance treatments that I should do to maintain my results?
No, if the injury is due to an accident, such as from a sports activity.
Yes, if the condition is degenerative, chronic or as a result of aging.
Periodic supportive treatments are recommended in the same way your dentist recommends periodic dental cleaning. This is important because while the original treatments can successfully heal and nourish damaged tissue, the natural aging process that contributes to the gradual deterioration of the body and cells is still in effect. As the body continues to age, important healing biochemicals, growth factors and tissue oxygenation can decrease substantially. It’s why we recommend periodic Maintenance and Restorative PRP or Prolozone injections every 3, 6 or 12 months, depending on the patient and situation.
What about cortisone and anti-inflammatory drugs?
These drugs can cause profound damage to the spine and joints, and are deadly to stem cells and PRP.
- Avoid cortisone for 6 weeks before and after treatment.*
- Avoid anti-inflammatories 1 week prior to treatment. For best results, discontinue use.*
- Tylenol and narcotics are acceptable, if needed.
Are the injections painful?
Integrative orthopedic treatments (Traumeel, Zeel, Visco-knee) and Prolozone are comfortable for most people. Regenerative injections such as Stem, PRP, Prolotherapy and AmnioFix can be uncomfortable, so we use a freeze spray to numb the skin. The very nature of regenerative therapies creates positive and necessary inflammation, which may cause temporary pain for 1 to 7 days after treatment. This means the body is responding well and the healing process is in effect. Spine, hip and knee injections tend to cause less reported discomfort than those administered in the shoulders and elbows.
Do you use a local anesthetic?
Anesthetics have been shown to be toxic to growth factors and stem cells. In certain cases we may use Ropivacaine, which has a low toxicity to stem cells. Most doctors performing PRP and regenerative therapies are not aware of this new research.
Will my insurance pay for this treatment?
- Integrative orthopedic treatments (Traumeel, Zeel, Visco-knee) are generally paid for by insurance and Medicare.
- The exam evaluation and imaging are also normally covered.
- Currently, health insurance does not pay for regenerative treatments, including Stem Cell, PRP, Prolozone, Prolotherapy or AmnioFix. In certain instances, we have been able to have workers’ compensation pay for the treatments.
Do I need a single injection or a series?
This varies from patient to patient. Research has demonstrated that tissue which has been diseased for some time and lacks the supporting microenvironment may not respond properly to a one-and-done approach. It is vital that the injected area is both pre-conditioned and post-conditioned properly to provide the right oxygen, nutrient and cytokine levels. This is similar to optimizing soil before adding seeds to ensure a successful crop.
- Conditioning tissue may involve one additional PRP, Prolozone or Prolotherapy injection, or nutritional changes.
- Prolozone is performed as a series of 5 injections.
- Prolotherapy is typically a series of 3 to 12 injections.
- PRP ranges from 1 to 4 injections.
- Autologous adipose stem cell therapy is a single injection. However, pre- and post- injections of PRP, Prolozone or AmnioFix may be recommended based on the extent of the tissue damage.
What are your success rates?
AIM success rates are very high. Among patients accepted for treatment and with success rate defined as a 60% to 100% improvement in function and pain, 80% to 90% of AIM patients experience successful outcomes.
Please note: not all patients are candidates for regenerative injection therapy. Only after performing a comprehensive evaluation and diagnostic imaging will our physicians (notably Dr. Michael Siciliano) determine and recommend the most effective treatment. A person’s age, health, exercise level, diet, disease level, local microenvironment and other factors contribute to the outcomes and candidacy. Patients will receive one of 3 candidacy grades for non-insurance based treatments: “Excellent,” “Good” or “Undetermined.”
What is the cost of treatments?
For insurance based treatment, the patient is responsible for the deductible and copays, if there are any.
Regenerative therapies (such as Stem, PRP, Prolozone and Prolotherapy) are not currently covered by insurance. Costs vary by patient based on the specific circumstances, such as: the area, the quantity of injectable required, the amount of pre/post conditioning required to stabilize the local tissue environment.
Learn about medical financing.
What types of regenerative cell therapies do you provide?
Our stem cell therapy option includes Autologous (your own cells) Adipose treatment. Called Stromal Vascular Tissue (SVT), the procedure is FDA Compliant and replete with regenerative cells including one’s own mesenchyaml stem cells, growth factors, cytokines and exosomes. Treatments are offered in conjunction with a customized program that may include PT, chiropractic, prolozone, prolotherapy, nutritional support or PRP. The autologous adipose treatment entails harvesting adipose (fat) tissue from the patient, concentrating the regenerative cells and then injecting the tissue into the affected area.
Your AIM provider will work with you to decide which regenerative option(s) are best for your particular needs. Learn more about our stem cell therapy.
Does a Nurse Practitioner do the treatment?
No. Our physicians, Dr. Michael Siciliano or Dr. Farhan Malik, perform most of the regenerative medicine injections.
What is the safety record of these treatments?
The stem cell therapies offered at AIM have been performed over 100,000 times worldwide with minimal significant adverse reactions reported and have an excellent safety record.
What are your post-treatment instructions for regenerative injections?
In general, our team advises:
- Avoid ALL anti-inflammatory medications.
- The first week, generally refrain from doing anything; thereafter, range of motion exercise with no resistance is beneficial. After 4 weeks, engage in light exercise. After 8 weeks, moderate exercise.
- Diet and nutrition: Maintain a high quality protein diet and avoid inflammatory foods that hinder new tissue healing. This includes avoiding sugar, processed foods, all cooking oils, factory farm–sourced meats and dairy, or high carb or high animal fat diets.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for individualized medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here. Outcomes are not guaranteed. Individual results may vary.
- Mesenchymal Stem Cell therapies with comprehensive, safe third-party verification and an integrated multipronged approach for maximum outcomes
- Nonsurgical Integrative Orthopedics for complete healing with a multidisciplinary team and innovative treatments in a 5-Star rated program
- More powerful PRP that’s customized, amplified and personalized
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