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Natural Awakenings Hawaii

Hawaii Center for Regenerative Medicine: ​Providing Advanced Nonsurgical Pain Relief

May 31, 2017 05:13PM

Dr. Liza Maniquis-Smigel, M.D., is a pioneer in regenerative medicine therapies with a specialty in physical medicine and rehabilitation, also known as physiatry. Because she is a dancer and a medical doctor, she was drawn to physiatry to treat performing artists and athletes. She spoke their language and understood their drive to return to their sports or professions despite pain and injuries. She sees that same drive in individuals that want to return to their normal life without pain.

Dr. Smigel opened her practice in 2002 with an office in Hilo, and, in 2007, she opened a second office in Honolulu. In 2016, she founded the Hawaii Center for Regenerative Medicine. Her integrative approach utilizes both conventional and alternative methods that facilitate the body's own healing response. She offers a variety of treatments, including traditional Hackett-Hemwall dextrose prolotherapy, platelet-rich plasma therapy, and fluoroscopic spinal injections.

Dr. Smigel has recently added adipose stem cell therapy to the list of treatments she offers. Stem cells have the potential to regenerate into any type of body tissue and help heal damaged areas.

In stem cell therapy, healing cells are obtained from the patient’s own fat and blood. They are injected into the areas that have a cellular deficiency to stimulate the repair of injured tissues.

Since a person’s own healing cells are used, there is no risk of immune system rejection. The fat cells contain stem cells that can become tissues, like cartilage, bone and ligaments. Once they are in place, they aid fibroblastic proliferation—the regeneration of connective tissue (fibroblasts) where cell growth and the remodeling of tissues and cartilage occurs.

Stem cell therapy is a minimally invasive procedure with little-to-no down time. It takes about an hour and is done as an outpatient procedure.

Patients with advanced arthritis, meniscus tears, labral tears, bone-on-bone or aggressive injuries are candidates for stem cell injections to enhance healing. This treatment can be used in combination with dextrose prolotherapy to strengthen and stabilize the surrounding support structures or with platelet-rich plasma therapy where the growth factors in the blood platelets give the stem cells better direction.

With offices in Hilo and Honolulu, Dr. Smigel is positioned to help anyone suffering from pain.

For more information, call 808-933-3444 or visit



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