Researchers Unravel the Role of Stem Cells in Joint Regeneration

Study from Vienna gives insight into the healing process of cartilage damage

Vienna (2018-02-27) — The body’s own stem cells show remarkable success in the treatment of joint problems such as osteoarthritis and sports injuries. This is proven by scientific studies on patients worldwide. The stem cells required for the treatment can be obtained from body fat. So far, it was not known in detail how the stem cells contribute to the regeneration of the joints. New research findings now provide an answer.

The current study on the animal model shows that mesenchymal stem cells transplanted in damaged tissue stimulate the already existing stem cells for regeneration. As a result, defective joint structures, such as worn cartilage, can regenerate to some degree. Ideally, the pain subsides and the affected joint regains mobility.

“The transplantation of the body’s own fat stem cells strengthens a natural healing mechanism and helps the body to repair the defect on its own,” explains DDr. Karl-Georg Heinrich, physician working in the field of regenerative and aesthetic medicine from Vienna. In his Clinic DDr. Heinrich®, tissue damages such as joint wear, sports injuries of joints, and scars are treated with stem cells from autologous body fat.

Until recently, scientists have not been able to study the fate of transplanted cells in the body for a longer period of time. The researchers at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, used a newly developed procedure to mark stem cells before transplantation. Thereby they were able to observe the role of the stem cells in the regenerative processes over a period of 6 months.

The regenerative abilities of stem cells are already used in human medicine today: In the Clinic DDr. Heinrich® joint treatment with autologous stem cells is performed as an outpatient procedure in local anesthesia. First, a small amount of the patient’s body fat is harvested. Therefrom mesenchymal stem cells and other vital cells (Stromal Vascular Fraction, SVF) are separated during the procedure. The SVF is immediately injected into joint areas where regeneration is needed.

“Stem cells from the body’s own fat provide a gentle alternative for many patients for whom surgery under general anesthesia or an artificial joint replacement is out of the question,” says DDr. Heinrich. Patients suffering from joint disease could be spared the time-consuming rehabilitation, off time, and the constant intake of pain medications.

Further information:

Clinic DDr. Heinrich®
Contact: Herfried Wagner
Phone: +43 1 532 18 01

Krone: One Year after Stem Cell Knee Treatment: “I Still Go Skiing!”

Patients report: Fat stem cells for knee problems

Even one year after a knee treatment with his own stem cells, star hairdresser “Charly” Plasil is racing down the slope on his skis without pain

Strong pain in the knee took the owner of the well-known Viennese hairdresser OSSIG hairstyle & beauty, Karl “Charly” Plasil, to the clinic of the doctor DDr. Karl-Georg Heinrich – for stem cell treatment. Four weeks later, the famous hair artist went skiing again. Recently, he returned home from a sporty winter holiday…

Mr. Plasil tells the history himself: “In my job I have to stand the whole day. My hair salon right next to St. Stephen’s Cathedral is on the upper floor. I climbed the stairs up and down about 50 times a day! I kept fit with skiing and cycling as well as Nordic walking.” At some point the strain left its traces on the knees. Mr. Plasil: “The pain got worse and worse. I was pretty handicapped in my job, and finally doing sports was also out of the question. I did not dare to dream of ever being able to ski again…”

The celebrity hairdresser did not want an artificial joint and general anesthesia, thus he sought and found another option: “From my longtime customer DDr. Heinrich I learned about a new method of treating joint damage with stem cells from the body’s own fat. After unsuccessful attempts with medication, physiotherapy, and even arthroscopy, I also saw this as a chance for me!”

DDr. Karl-Georg Heinrich focuses on body fat and its potential applications in medicine for about 20 years: “Initially, I used the patient’s own body fat primarily for aesthetic procedures. About 10 years ago it was discovered that stem cells from fat tissue have a high potential for the regeneration of damaged tissue.”

It has been found that these stem cells can therefore play a major role in the healing of injuries. DDr. Heinrich: “By transplanting the patient’s own fat stem cells we strengthen the natural healing mechanism – thereby we help the body to repair the damage on its own!”

In the meantime, numerous scientific studies worldwide prove this regenerative function. Incidentally, the treatment can basically be done on all joints, i.e., knees, hips, wrists, or fingers.

How does the treatment work? DDr. Heinrich: “I take a small portion of fat from the patient by means of a thin cannula. Therefrom stem cells are separated during the procedure and immediately thereafter injected in the area of ​​the affected joint. The treatment is carried out in local anesthesia and takes about 3 hours. Then the patient can go home and come back again for check-up the next day.”

Karl Plasil still remembers the long-awaited relief: “The pain got noticeably better pretty quickly. I never thought that I would be able to do sports after four weeks without any complications! It’s also great not to limp anymore in my job!”

However, it was not certain whether the success would last. Now this question can be answered, as Mr. Plasil reports: “This year, one year later, I got on my skis again. I was able to wedel down the slope like in the days before my knee problems! Now I am looking forward to the spring, where I will ride my bike again!”

DDr. Heinrich was able to convince himself of the recovery of his patient during the check-up. Of course, he is pleased by the success: “The treatment with stem cells from body fat can even spare severe operations or artificial joints in many cases.”

DDr. Karl-Georg Heinrich, contact clinic:
☎ +43 1 532 18 01,

Published in Krone Gesund on February 17, 2018.

Puls4: Free of Pain Thanks to Stem Cells

Almost every sixth Austrian suffers from joint problems. Especially skiing in the winter time can lead to knee pain. Now a new therapy for the treatment of joint pain is available. The patient’s own stem cells are injected into the affected area.

Watch the report (in German language), in which Puls4 tells the story of Viennese celebrity hairdresser Karl “Charly” Plasil of OSSIG hairstyle & beauty, who can ski again without pain after a knee treatment with his own stem cells.

Wiener Bezirksblatt: When Cells Heal

New treatments with stem cells

Medicine | Stem cells are regarded as a hope for new therapies in medicine. Their application is already standard in the treatment of leukemia. For many years the use of fat and its components for health and beauty are at the center of the Viennese doctor DDr. Karl-Georg Heinrich. He treats patients with their own stem cells. “We are now able to say that stem cells from body fat are beneficial to patients who suffer from a range of diseases,” explains Heinrich. “The stem cells are particularly suitable for repairing damaged body tissue, such as joint problems like osteoarthritis and sports injuries.” Skin damage and thinning hair can also benefit. The advantage of the new treatments with the body’s own cells is that only a minor surgical procedure is performed under local anesthesia.

Published in Wiener Bezirksblatt on December 4, 2017.

Migraine: Can Stem Cells from Body Fat Help?

About every tenth person suffers from it: Headache attacks, accompanied by nausea and increased sensitivity to sensory stimuli, known as migraine. The duration of the headache, which mostly radiates unilaterally into the neck, is very variable, but can last from several hours to some days. Affected people mostly complain about the heavy emotional distress due to the recurring pain.

In spite of intensive research, the cause of migraine still has not been fully understood. By now we know that so-called trigger factors cause seizures via a stimulus. Among them are hormonal factors, for example stress, but also certain food products and pharmaceuticals. In order to temporarily ease the symptoms in case of urgencies painkillers and drugs are given for blocking the “nausea receptors” located in the brain.

Fat Stem Cells Help Migraine Patients

Now the sufferers can draw new hope. In the course of a study on patients American scientists found that stem cells extracted from body fat may contribute to the relief of migraine. Stromal Vascular Fraction (SVF) has been separated from a small portion of adipose tissue. Fat tissue has a high content of vital cells such as mesenchymal stem cells. Afterwards, the SVF has been injected into the area of shoulders and neck.

In the study the New York Headache Center surveyed adult women and men who suffered from chronic therapy-resistant migraine for multiple years. The scientists defined a reduction of the MIDAS score as a goal. This score measures the degree of a patient’s impairment by migraine and also the reduction of quality of life. The treatment showed success: Already three months after the stem cell treatment the score declined by almost one third.

As the study proves, the transplantation of stem cells isolated from body fat could spare migraine patients the frequent intake of medication and therefore may have a positive impact on the improvement of their well-being.

DDr. Heinrich, MD

Krone: Wrist Osteoarthritis: “I Can Write Again!”

Treatment with fat stem cells helped nurse Ottilie Ebner to cure long-term, painful wear in the right wrist.

Author: Dr. med. Wolfgang Exel

Due to increasing pain in the right wrist nurse Ottilie Ebner gradually lost her autonomy over the years. She did not want put up with this any longer and decided to undergo treatment with stem cells from her own body fat. Today she is free of pain and can master her daily life like 20 years ago.

When working as nurse Ottilie Ebner was used to help to needy people. So much the better she knows how important autonomy in everyday life is for quality of life. Decades of hard work in the hospital left traces: Years ago she had pain in her wrist for the first time while opening a bottle. The pain only went on to get worse. Daily routines turned into difficult tasks. The Diagnosis: Osteoarthritis of the right wrist joint.

“I could neither write nor dry my hair, wire wipes or iron my clothes,” she recalled. Driving a car and visiting the fitness center were also impossible. Physiotherapy and medication only relieved the pain for a short while. “When I heard that fat stem cells helped to treat joint pain, I was intrigued,” says Mrs. Ebner.

She then contacted the Viennese doctor DDr. Karl-Georg Heinrich. Fat and its components have been at the center of DDr. Heinrich’s medical activity for years: “Fat tissue has a high content of vital cells that contribute to the regeneration of injuries. In the joint treatment we support this self-healing mechanism of the body by implanting autologous fat stem cells.”

In the course of a small surgical procedure under local anesthesia DDr. Heinrich first harvested a little portion of fat from Ottilie Ebner using a thin cannula. During surgery so-called mesenchymal stem cells were extracted from the fat and immediately injected in the region of the patient’s wrist.

About two hours later the procedure was done and Ottilie Ebner could leave the clinic. “Following the procedure ideally the tissue regenerates, inflammations disappear, pain is relieving and the wrist becomes motvable again,” DDr. Heinrich explains. A series of clinical studies confirm this effect.

Finally relief for Mrs. Ebner: “The pain declined day by day.” Already few weeks after the procedure she was completely free of pain in the right hand and could write again. “I am meanwhile able to drive the car and enjoy my recovered autonomy,” the satisfied patient reports. Recently she has started with fitness training again.

Physician DDr. Heinrich is delighted by this success: “For patients who suffer from movement limitations and chronic pain due to joint problems it is very relieving when they regain mobility and are free of pain.” Treatment with fat stem cells offers many patients for whom artificial joints or surgery under general anesthesia are not an option a gentle alternative.

Contact: DDr. Karl-Georg Heinrich: ☎ +43 1 532 18 01,

Published in Krone Gesund on October 21, 2017.

Krone: Knee Pain: Fit for the Match Again!

Severe pain put the Austrian national league basketball player Max Neugebauer suddenly out of action. But of course a top sportsman does not give up! After some unsuccessful therapy attempts, the 21-year-old athlete decided to undergo treatment with stem cells from his own body fat. Now he is again free of pain and ready for his comeback!

Author: Dr. med. Wolfang Exel

Since his 13th birthday Max Neugebauer has been an avid basketball player. After all, he is “predisposed” by the family: As a child, he cheered his father at games. Thus it is no wonder that his own sporting successes were not long in coming ­– top spots in the youth league, national champion, youth national team, offers from America.

Unfortunately, the hard training quickly left traces. Max Neugebauer: “Suddenly I got pain in both knees. I had to finish the season ahead of time. Conventional treatment methods did not bring any lasting improvement. Then I saw my chance with stem cells from my fat!”

The Viennese doctor DDr. Karl-Georg Heinrich is specialized in this method. He has been using body fat for many years for health and beauty: “Fat serves, for example, as a basis for breast augmentation, but also for the regeneration of damages to joints and other body tissues. By the way, the healing potential has been confirmed by scientific studies.”

In the joint area, a small surgical procedure is sufficient. DDr. Heinrich: “By implanting fat stem cells we fortify a natural healing mechanism. Damaged tissue recovers, ideally, inflammation disappears, pain subsides, and normal mobility returns.”

The process: Under local anesthesia DDr. Heinrich first harvested a small amount of body fat from Max Neugebauer with a small cannula. During the procedure, so-called mesenchymal stem cells were separated and immediately thereafter injected into the region of both knee joints. After the two-hour procedure, the patient could leave the clinic on his own feet, so to speak.

“Even at the first training session about one week after the treatment, the pain had already gone to such an extent that I did not need a break,” the athlete rejoiced. In the meantime, he is completely free of complaints and highly satisfied: “I have been training intensively at my club since recently and I am working on getting myself in top shape again. Perhaps it will work with America after all…”

Also DDr. Heinrich is very satisfied with the development: “The young man is again fully fit. Stem cells are generally suitable for all ages. Many young and elderly people who suffer from injuries or wear-and-tear could be helped by relieving pain without artificial joints.”

Information: ☎ +43 1 532 18 01.

Published in Krone Gesund on May 27, 2017.

Dein Bezirk: Success: “Finally I Can Ski Again!”

Just a few months ago, the owner of the hairdresser salon OSSIG Karl (“Charly”) Josef Plasil could hardly walk because of pain in the knee joint. In the meantime he is skiing again and is walking quickly on foot – thanks to a knee treatment with stem cells from his own body fat.

Physical activity has always been an essential part of Charly Plasil’s life. Whether he is styling prominent customers together with his team in his salon OSSIG hairstyle & beauty or when he does sports. To keep fit, he always liked to ski, bike, and go Nordic walking.

After years of sporting, however, joint pain suddenly occurred. Charly Plasil could not move as freely as before, because his knee hurt. He was also increasingly troubled in climbing stairs. “To renounce sports was very stressful for me. More importantly, however, I always wanted to give my customers the best possible quality in haircutting and hairstyles. And a perfect haircut requires excellent flexibility, besides talent and good training,” says Charly Plasil. “I know DDr. Heinrich for years and learned from him about the new treatment with stem cells from my own body fat. In this treatment I saw a possibility of being able to move my knee again without pain, without artificial joint, and without general anesthesia. That aroused my interest.”

Successful treatment: Expert hairdresser Charly Plasil is back safely on skis and is also able to walk without pain thanks to a stem cell treatment.

The Viennese doctor DDr. Karl-Georg Heinrich is active in the field of regenerative and aesthetic medicine. For years, he has been dealing with body fat and its benefits for health and beauty. Body fat and its components also play an important role in the regeneration of damaged body tissue. The regenerative potential of the “mesenchymal stem cells” or “stromal vascular fraction”, which are abundantly contained in the fat, is now confirmed by a number of studies.

“Stem cells from adipose tissue have an anti-inflammatory and regenerative effect inside the body. In the treatment of joint diseases with stem cells, medicine makes use of this natural healing mechanism,” explains DDr. Karl-Georg Heinrich. Meanwhile, Mr. Plasil is again fit for the job and sports and enthusiastic about the results of his stem cell treatment. His employees also noticed the improvement of their boss: He was simply in a better mood and did not limp as in the last years. And skiing is again possible without pain! DDr. Heinrich: “This treatment could spare many patients surgical procedures under general anesthesia, artificial joints, and the long healing and elaborate rehabilitation.”

Contact: DDr. Karl-Georg Heinrich: Phone: +43 1 532 18 01,

Photo: OSSIG hairstyle & beauty.

Published in Dein Bezirk on May 8, 2017.

Krone: Fat Stem Cells: “I Can Do Sports Again”

Celebrity hairdresser Karl “Charly” Plasil from Vienna owes new zest for life to a knee treatment with stem cells from body fat

Author: Dr. Wolfgang Exel

Physical activity has always been an essential part of his life for Charly Plasil. Whether in his salon (OSSIG hairstyle & beauty) in downtown Vienna, where he dresses up celebrity ladies and gentlemen, or if he does sports eagerly in his free time – for example, riding the bike, Nordic walking, or skiing down the slope in the winter.

Then the mischief: Suddenly pain in the knee. Mr. Plasil could hardly move properly. Doing sports or even climbing stairs was impossible at all. “It was very difficult for me to do without moving. However, I was also impaired in my professional activity! A perfect haircut requires skill and comprehensive training as well as good mobility…”

But luckily the hairdresser learned about the treatment with stem cells from his own fat tissue from his long-standing customer DDr. Heinrich: “I saw the chance of being able to use my knee free of pain again without surgery. Otherwise an artificial joint would have been necessary.”

The Viennese doctor DDr. Karl-Georg Heinrich is active in the field of regenerative and aesthetic medicine. For years, he has been dealing with body fat and its use for health and beauty. In addition to using it for breast augmentation, for example, body fat also plays an important role in the treatment of tissue damages. This is confirmed by scientific studies.

DDr. Heinrich: “Stem cells from fat tissue have anti-inflammatory and regenerative effects. In the treatment of joint diseases medicine takes advantage of this body’s own healing mechanism.”

Charly Plasil was informed about the method and the course of the planned procedure by his doctor. Optimally prepared, he underwent the treatment. First, a small amount of fat was harvested in local anesthesia. DDr. Heinrich then separated mesenchymal stem cells from this fat and injected them into the area of the joint immediately afterwards.

„Basically, this therapy can be done on all joints,” says the physician. After two hours his patient took a taxi home. The next day he came to the check-up. Within short time the small punctures of the liposuction had healed and the bruises had subsided.

“About three weeks later the pain in the knee decreased significantly,” the hairdresser remembers and confirms today: “Now I am completely free of symptoms and as mobile as before! I am no longer limping and am fully fit for my work.”

In the skiing holiday, Charly Plasil wanted to know it for sure: “I buckled on the skis after the stem cell treatment for the first time. Already riding the ski lift brought the first success experience: I could sit down without pain! But also the “wedeln” itself was as much fun as before!”

The highly satisfied patient has long been riding on the exercise bike again and enjoys the regained mobility. His physician is also delighted: “The fat stem cells obviously stimulate the regeneration of the cartilage in the joint and thereby help to remedy the cause of the pain.”

Contact: Clinic DDr. Heinrich®, ☎ +43 1 532 18 01,

Published in Krone Gesund on April 8, 2017.

Circulation Disorders: Successful Treatment with Stem Cells from Fat

Study demonstrates the healing potential of stem cells in peripheral vascular disease

Vienna (2017-03-15) — American scientists have found that stem cells from adipose tissue are an effective way to treat blood flow problems in the arms and legs. In their recent study published in the scientific journal Stem Cell Research 10 patients suffering from peripheral vascular disease due to diabetes or arteriosclerosis were successfully treated with stem cells. The stem cells were obtained from each patient’s own (autologous) fatty tissue.

Arteriosclerosis is the most common cause of the development of peripheral vascular disorders, closely followed by diabetes. Deposits caused by the underlying disease lead to constrictions or occlusions in the blood vessels of the arms or legs as well as chronic wounds, which in the end stage can even require an amputation of the affected limb.

“Patients who suffer from degenerative diseases are apparently benefiting from the considerable regenerative potential of stem cells. These include the peripheral occlusive disease,” explains DDr. Karl-Georg Heinrich, physician working in the field of regenerative and aesthetic medicine. In his Clinic DDr. Heinrich® in Vienna stem cells from body fat are used for the treatment of circulatory disorders and other chronic problems, such as osteoarthritis.

These stem cell treatments are performed on an outpatient basis as an intervention in local anesthesia. “Stromal Vascular Fraction” (SVF) is obtained from a small amount of harvested body fat, which contains a high proportion of mesenchymal “Adipose-Derived Stem Cells” (ADSCs). Depending on the initial situation, repetitions of the treatment may be recommendable.

SVF suspension was injected into the legs and feet affected by circulatory disorders and chronic wounds. As a result, a significant alleviation of the so-called “window shopper’s disease” (Claudicatio intermittens) was found, which causes severe pain in the case of circulatory disorders of the legs. In the majority of the patients also an increase in new vessel formation and improved wound healing could be observed.

It seems to be important to start the treatment with stem cells in an as early as possible stage of disease.

“Of course, there is no guarantee of cure, but the therapeutic potential of stem cells and the SVF cell mixture is astonishing,” says DDr. Heinrich, who was one of the first doctors in Europe to perform therapies with the patient’s own fat stem cells. “Not only joint wear and blood circulation disorders, but also other chronic diseases can already be treated with stem cells.” Especially in autoimmunological diseases, autologous fat stem cells are used with promising prospects for success. In patients with scleroderma and Crohn’s disease, an increase in the quality of life could be achieved in studies by treatment with autologous stem cells.

Further information:

Clinic DDr. Heinrich®
Contact: Herfried Wagner
Phone: +43 1 532 18 01

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