Frequently Asked Questions
What is the treatment process?
The process you will follow depends on a few factors: 1) the type of treatment you seek for which disease state, and 2) whether or not your physician is local, international, or if you are self-referred. For most treatment and/or management options, if you are physician referred – your physician will give you step by step instructions on the best way for you to proceed and assist you with the information necessary to schedule an appointment. If you fall under the self- referred population and you select this treatment and/or management option, you will need to complete the new patient forms found on the “getting started” section of our website and submit to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Once received, a GARM patient advocate will contact you to ask questions and possibly request additional medical records. Once the GARM physicians review the submitted information, your patient advocate will then contact you regarding your potential eligibility for this treatment process. If you are selected as a candidate and you wish to proceed, we will schedule a consultation appointment at the GARM Clinic in Roatan. Depending on the disease state and/or injury being electively treated and/or managed, the total time requirement for treatment and/or management may vary from one day to one week. You will be advised of the details of your elected treatment plan during the consultation appointment.
These alternative elective treatment options consists of what?
These elective treatment and/or management options are biocellular medicine based therapies. The definition for Autologous states.....Precursor cells will be obtained from one of 3 sources (bone marrow, blood, and fat) to treat and/or manage your specific disease state and/or injury. Utilizing adult autologous stem cells in the management and treatment of diseases and injuries is a natural way to help the body help itself.
If a patient is interested in seeking this treatment, what steps should he/she take?
Please visit the Contact Us page
Are these treatment and/or management elective options FDA approved?
No, these are not FDA approved.
What exclusion criteria are there?
What exclusion criteria are there? You must have an intact immune system. There are certain tests which may be recommend to assess the competency of your immune system. For example, recent chemotherapy is usually an exclusion criterion. An HIV+ situation may also render the patient not qualified to receive this treatment option.
Can I have received other treatments before trying this immunotherapy?
Many patients will have had other treatments, there are no hard and fast rules. This is, after all, an alternative treatment. Each patient has to be assessed individually.
Can I ask my surgeon to send my tissue sample for extraction of stem cells to your laboratory in one of your customized shipping containers?
You must remember that this is your tissue. You may have to sign releases from the hospital and/or physician’s office to allow the harvesting of your tissue. GARM will provide the necessary paperwork and transport kits upon your request.
Can I have other treatments for my condition before this treatment?
Yes. And if those other treatments fail, or if you have not completely restored your quality of life, then we could always discuss the possibility of trying this type of approach at a later date.
If I choose this treatment, what do I do if it fails?
There are three choices. First you could always discuss the traditional treatment options after documented failure of this treatment. Secondly, you could elect to repeat this treatment option. Third, you could do nothing.
What side effects have you seen in your stem cell patients?
Because the stem cell procedures performed at the GARM Clinic are all autologous-based treatment options, adverse events are very rare. The risks associated with this treatment are generally risks associated with the tissue harvest and re-implantation. Your physician will review these thoroughly with you once you have made a decision.
How much does this treatment cost?
Costs will vary depending on disease state, injury, treatment option selected, lab time required, We are more than happy to assist in making these arrangements for you and your family once you have been established as a qualified candidate.
Is this treatment covered by insurance?
No, insurance will not reimburse you for this treatment.
Do you have any guarantee this will work?
As with any medical procedure, outcomes are multi-factorial and depend largely on individual responses. There are no guarantees.
What are the risks?
The risks of this type of treatment are mostly associated with the normal risks of surgery, if surgery is required. Our physicians will review the risks and benefits of surgery with you prior to scheduling your procedure. The risks associated with the drawing of blood and re-implantation of the autologous stem cells are usually minimal, rare, and may consist of, but not be limited to, bruising, fainting, headache, nausea, limited local reaction with swelling and irritation, fever, stiffness. An anaphylactic reaction is rare, but possible.
Why aren’t you involved in FDA clinical trials? Where are the procedures performed?
FDA clinical trials take several years and are very expensive. The majority of our patients do not have several years to wait on approval. Keep in mind this is an autologous vaccine, produced from your own stem cells... there are no experimental drugs being introduced during this procedure.
Where are the procedures performed?
The consult and procedures will be performed at GARM and its affiliated facilities on the Caribbean island of Roatan.
Are there any special requirements to travel to Roatan?
Yes, please make sure that you and your travel companions have at least six months remaining validity on your passport at the scheduled time of travel in Roatan.