FAQs

faqs

Category: CellBank [ Go back to top ]

Q. What is CellBank?

A. CellBank collects, processes and stores bone tissue and stem cells from people undergoing total joint replacement surgery. This valuable tissue is normally discarded after surgery, but CellBank allows the customer to save it as a biologic insurance policy for future orthopedic procedures.


Q. Why would I need CellBank’s services?

A. Your own (autologous) tissue is preferred over cadaveric or synthetic bone graft substitutes, which is typically used in orthopedic procedures. Many other adult orthopedic reconstructive surgeries require some type of bone graft.
 
For a typical total joint replacement patient, aged 65 years, the chances of having another orthopedic procedure in their lifetime is estimated to be in the 35-50% range.
 
Looking ahead to the development of therapies using stem cells, the availability of previously harvested and stored adult stem cells may be invaluable in the treatment of a wide variety of diseases.

Category: Bone Grafting [ Go back to top ]

Q. What is a bone graft?

A. Bone graft is natural or synthetic bone tissue used by surgeons to assist in the repair or replacement of bone structures. It may be used to fill voids in bone or encourage/stimulate regeneration of bone tissue during surgery.


Q. When is bone graft used?

A. Surgeons use bone graft in a variety of procedures where additional bone volume or bone healing stimulus is needed. Some of these procedures include spinal fusion, revision total joint replacement, foot and ankle fusions or even dental reconstruction.


Category: Stem Cells [ Go back to top ]

Q. What are stem cells?

A. Stem cells are undifferentiated biological cells, that can differentiate into specialized cells and can divide (through mitosis) to produce more stem cells.  


Q. When are stem cells used?

A. More than 350 clinical trials are currently underway that involve the use of mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of a wide range of conditions, including chronic and acute heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease and more. 
 
Although current approval treatments using stem cells are limited, CellBank allows you to collect them during an orthopedic procedure to ensure you are included at the forefront of this emerging field of medicine.

Category: Collection and Storage [ Go back to top ]

Q. Will the collection process add a lot of time to the joint replacement procedure?

A. The collection of the bone and tissue should take 5-10 minutes in total and with a skilled surgical team will add very little time to the overall procedure.


Q. Has the preservation of tissue ever been done before?

A. CellBank’s service for total joint replacement is the first of its kind, yet the “banking” of bone and other tissue for viable use at a later date has been done for decades.
 
Prior bone banks have collected donor/cadaver (allogeneic) tissue for future use in other patients.  CellBank collects your own tissue for your own eventual use.

Q. How do I know that my tissue is being processed and stored properly?

A. CellBank has established strict collection, handling and processing protocols that ensure sterility, temperature control, and tissue viability are maintained throughout the process.
 
All tissue processing is performed at facilities that are licensed at the federal and state levels as human tissue banks, operating under the American Association of Tissue Bank (AATB) guidelines.

Category: Cost and Usage [ Go back to top ]

Q. What does the service cost?

A. CellBank customers pay an initial fee for collection, processing and storage of tissue. In addition, annual fees are collected for continued tissue storage. Contact CellBank’s patient advisors to obtain specific area pricing and to discuss any special offers and/or payment terms.


Q. Is there a payment plan for the initial fee?

A. Yes, CellBank can arrange a payment plan in assisting customers with payment.


Q. Will Medicare or my private insurance pay for this service?

A. No, at this time there is no insurance reimbursement for this service.


Q. Do I have any recourse if my tissue is used in a future unsuccessful procedure?

A. When you request the tissue for use in a procedure, the tissue will be recovered and tested for cell viability, so you can be assured that the graft/stem cell material is performing as it should.


Q. What is the likelihood that I will be able to use the banked tissue?

A. For a 63-year-old, joint replacement patient, with an additional 20 year life expectancy, we estimate that the probability is close to 50% of having another orthopedic or dental procedure that could utilize bone graft. On the stem cell side, it is likely, given the range of clinical trials underway and the incidence of the diseases stem cell therapies are likely to cure, that you will use these cells in some way during your lifetime.


Q. What are the risks to me as a patient?

A. There are no risks to you beyond the risks of surgery described to you by your surgeon in the patient informed consent.


Category: Getting Started [ Go back to top ]

Q. How can I get started or what if I have more questions?

A. Just go to our Contact Us page. One of our patient advisor professionals will contact you to provide additional information and answer any questions.


Q. How do I know if my doctor participates in this program? If he/she doesn’t how do I make this happen?

A. Ask the doctor or a member of the office staff whether they participate with CellBank. If they do not, we can contact the office and make the service available for your surgery.