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September 09, 2010

Five Week Journey to Regenerate tip of Finger

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CNN describes woman's five-week odyssey -- one that involved defying doctors, e-mailing specialists around the country -- to get the tip of her finger regenerated.

1. The tip of Deepa Kulkarni's finger cut of by a door
2. An orthopedic surgeon and ER doctor said they could not reattach and indicated they would need to amputate even more of the finger so it would heal properly.
3. Found website and email for Dr. Stephen Badylak, the University of Pittsburgh physician, who pioneered finger tip regeneration (was featured on 60 minutes and Oprah)

4. Kulkarni made an appointment with Dr. Michael Peterson, an orthopedic surgeon in Davis. At first, Kulkarni says he was hesitant to try tissue regeneration since he hadn't done it before, but she gave him some research materials, and she says eventually he agreed to try it.

The therapy involved cleaning out the finger and removing scar tissue -- a process called debridement -- and then dipping her finger into MatriStem wound powder. After seven weeks of treatment, her fingertip grew back

Be fastidious about keeping records. Kulkarni, for example, photographed her pinky at various stages, and she e-mailed the images to various doctors and later to the insurance company to convince them to reimburse her the $1,665 she spent on the drug that regenerated her pinky


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