Biosignalling works the same way as traffic lights – red means stop, green means go. Instead of light, the signals come in the form of electrical pulses, hormones or exchange of chemicals on the cell wall constantly regulating and controlling the body’s vital functions.
Our ability to apply biosignalling agents to the exact site in regenerative medicine allows us to stimulate insufficient or no longer active regeneration processes for repair or rejuvenation. We use preparations such as PRP (platelet-rich plasma), neural prolotherapy, cytochrome C oxidase, and other drugs. Our treatments focus on the body’s natural reactions to these biosignals that make healing or functional improvement possible in the first place.
PRP (differences and applications)
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) application was first developed and applied more than ten years ago for use in clinical therapy towards improving human tissue regeneration. Immediately favourable results led to a rapid spread in both research and commercial application. Widely varying preparations emerged from autologous blood in studies and technical products from manufacturers, as there were no defined standards applicable as to what an effective PRP preparation should contain at the beginning. Unfortunately, this led to highly varied results and great uncertainty as to how to interpret the effectiveness of PRP therapy.
The lessons learned led to the awareness that an accurate classification system was needed on the one hand, but also that a database would be necessary to collect these biological outcomes, on the other. TOBI took a major role in satisfying both needs, and FIRST has fully and unconditionally adopted the resulting strict guidelines. This might sometimes mean extra work for doctors and patients, but the result is that we provide the highest quality and safety.
Hyaluronic acid injections
Not all regenerative medicine treatments are currently covered by health insurance. In particular, PRP is not listed for mandatory coverage. Even so, there is increasing coverage in regenerative medicine with insurance companies becoming more and more aware of the costs saved from reduced drug prescriptions, physiotherapy appointments, doctor’s visits, and sick leave after the beneficial effects of the treatment. Most treatments and applications in our treatment plans are reflected in TARMED, which sets out the Swiss national fee schedules for medical treatment.
FIRST bills according to the TARMED fee schedule for the initial examination and final examination at the end of treatment. These services are included in mandatory insurance coverage.
We will get together with you to talk about our assessment of the results, treatment options in classical conservative treatment, conservative regenerative treatment and, if necessary, surgery after evaluating all the available examination results obtained and collected. We will also evaluate the recommended treatment from the point of view of costs.
Treatments in regenerative medicine are new and pioneering, but not yet included in mandatory insurance coverage, so we will bill the treatment according to the treatment plan discussed for conservative treatment blocks with you as a private patient. The corresponding bills include all equivalent positions in the TARMED fee schedule enabling you to present these to your insurance company for proportional coverage.
Regenerative medicine is an inexpensive method considering the excellent and lasting outcomes possible. Even so, single treatments are each highly specialised and require time-consuming technically assisted actions, and are expensive when taken in isolation.
Our treatment blocks are clearly and transparently accounted for according to individual indications and optional services in a modular system to help you keep track of the process. We will be pleased to advise you in making a decision, and we will make every attempt to draw up the most efficient treatment plan together with you to provide you with cost-effective treatment.
FIRST is entitled to bill health and accident insurance companies for specialist medical treatment. We will issue a TARMED state medical insurance bill according to health insurance law to you, or according to accident insurance law to the insurer for the initial examination and preliminary checks as well as the final examination. We will send you a TARMED bill for private settlement covering mandatory services included that you can submit to the insurance company. We will bill the entire services block as a private settlement directly with you.
Contraindications and side effects
We apply biological signals to activate or reactivate the body’s own natural regeneration processes for tissue repair or rejuvenation in regenerative medicine. Apart from that, we utilise healing capacity in tissue regeneration (reconstructive substrate application) to activate the body’s own self-healing and protective processes. There are no known real contraindications.
Treatments are not generally excluded in oncological conditions (cancer), but should only be applied in consultation with an oncologist.
Treatment is not indicated in acute immunologically stimulated illnesses or infections, such as in allergic reactions, as the treatment may overload the body’s systemic requirements on its own repair mechanisms.
Biosignalling treatment activates the body’s own wound-healing processes that may cause localised discomfort manifesting in pain and swelling. These symptoms usually resolve themselves after two to three days.
The nutrients and supporting drugs used in tissue regeneration may initially induce symptoms of fullness and intestinal upset in individual cases. We examine the liver values once during treatment when applying a drug to support the microvasculature to make sure that the necessary enzyme is genetically available. The drug may be discontinued if necessary without any lasting side effects.
No adverse reactions have been reported anywhere in the world. Application of interventional treatment (injections) bears the same risk of infection as any other that penetrates the body’s outer protective layer, the skin. We apply risk-benefit analysis as a central control element in our treatment. Ultimately, the risk of infection is thought to be lower in PRP therapy compared to other classical injection treatments such as cortisone, as PRP contains the body’s own defence factors. We work strictly according to controlled, standardised hygiene regulations that largely eliminate the risk.
Several classical drugs such as anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs such as diclofenac (Voltaren), ibuprofen, and so on) have clearly negative side effects on the healing process.
Research has shown that PRP therapy, especially with the Endoret PRGF, is just as effective even with regular administration of the following drugs: blood thinner with cardio aspirin or warfarin, or nourishing agents such as chondroitin sulphate and glucosamine.
Do inform your doctor if you are taking drugs on a regular basis.
The processes that we activate using biosignalling occur as normal body tissue reactions every day. Highly targeted and potentiated activation of these natural processes is repeatable and can be used on different sites at the same time without concern. Unlike cortisone treatment as an example with its negative effects on tissue function, the rejuvenation method used in this application is likely to improve the tissue’s immediate environment without any negative effect on biological function.
Autologous blood therapy
Autologous blood treatments have been known as a remedy for various ailments for centuries.
Unfortunately, this term was initially used to mean platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, and is still often used as a simple explanation for the use of bioactive agents from the blood.
However, our knowledge on the blood components used is far more detailed, so we can use its proper name in raising patient awareness about it. This therapy entails enriched platelets in blood serum that release their bioactive agents or recruit other cells in regeneration. These preparations also contain a certain number of growth factors and stem cells.
Autologous stem-cell therapy is still very limited in many countries of the world with heavy regulation from ethics committees due to the fear that stem cells could be dangerously manipulated. Their use in routine clinical practice is still clearly prohibited in Switzerland, except in clinical trials. There are therapies that are mostly based on similar principles as PRP therapy in enriching serum with mesenchymal stem cell numbers by centrifuging bone marrow or adipose tissue.
Countless current studies have recently demonstrated the ability of regenerative medicine using various PRP (PRGF) treatments to deliver equally favourable results. Far more is known about the effects of the growth factors from platelets from research than about the exact processes in stem-cell therapy, so stem cells are still deemed unsafe in therapy.