Goodbye Grand Cayman!
It’s that time again, after 2 weeks of seeing patients at our licensed advanced stem cell site in Grand Cayman, I’m headed back home to Colorado. I’ve included my cell phone snaps above of this beautiful island. Let’s dig in.
What’s really unique about Grand Cayman is the fact that it’s a first-world Caribbean island. Frankly, most of the Caribbean and Latin America is firmly third world. Meaning while there are some nice parts here and there, you’re thrust into the middle of the developing world. Cayman is different due to all of the accounting firms, law firms, and hedge funds based here. In addition, development on the island is proceeding at a furious pace, so parts of it are now closer to the fancy parts of Boca Raton or LA.
Why fly all the way down here to see patients? Because we can use advanced stem cell culture expansion techniques. That means that this site can grow cells to bigger numbers and then freeze the ones we can’t use for future use. So think about treating many more sites with stem cells and also think “banking”. In addition, some clinical conditions, based on our extensive 17-year experience just do better with cultured cells whereas other problems don’t need that technology. So in general, we’re talking about patients with more severe disease.
How Does this Work?
Patients fly to Grand Cayman and get their bone marrow aspiration, just like a same-day procedure. What’s different is that the mesenchymal stem cells in bone marrow are grown to much greater numbers via culture expansion in the state-of-the-art lab. The patient can get those cells injected the same trip (about 10-12 days later) and save the rest or they can come back down at another time to get the cells injected (in that case they’re saved in cryopreservation until use).
How Often is a Doctor Down Here?
Our Colorado clinic staffs this site every month for 1-2 weeks. I’m here in March and November now and other doctors are here in different months. In addition, some of our network affiliates like Dr. Blecher (and others) also take some of their patients here.Join us for a free Regenexx webinar.
Increasingly, we Americans define where we go and don’t go based on the amount of COVID hassle there is once we get there. In Cayman, I needed a negative COVID test (like many places) and some paperwork filled out through their portal (which the Cayman clinic staff handled). I showed that paperwork and they ushered me right in. Once here, most places require masks, but frankly, in the resort areas they’re optional, so it’s pretty much like most of the US right now.
The upshot? It’s great to be back in the Caymans after two long years! This licensed advanced practice site is a great asset to the worldwide Regenexx network of clinics. So you may want to consider checking out this jewel of the Caribbean at some point!