Michael Schumacher after undergoing a transfusion of inflammation-reducing stem cells at a hospital in Paris six years after his horrific skiing accident
Professor Philippe Menasche, a pioneering surgeon specialising in stem cell breakthroughs, carried out the surgery which would “probably not be allowed in the UK”.
However the hospital has not revealed exactly what treatment he received, and Professor Brendon Noble, who works with the UK Stem Cell Foundation, believes it is unlikely that the surgery was directly related to his original injury.
Speaking to Mirror Online, he explained that stem cells can be used in two different ways when it comes to healing an illness or injury.
They can either replace or work to repair the damaged tissue themselves, or they can be used to reduce inflammation.
He said: “The other thing they’re good at is that they throw out chemicals that are good at quieting down infection.”
While he believes the second option is a possibility, he doesn’t believe this approach would have been used on Schumacher’s original brain injury.
He said: “I would think it’s unlikely because it was such a long time ago. Unless there have been some complications.
“It seems unlikely to me.
“But I definitely don’t discount it. We just don’t know.”
He believes any inflammation would have calmed down by now as it has been six years since the crash.
However, he claims it might have been used on another medical issue relating to the original injury or it could even be on something completely unrelated.
He finds it interesting that Professor Philippe Menasche, who carried out the work, is a cardiac surgeon and believes that could shed some light on the treatment.
He said: “There really is quite a lot of research in that area and there is quite a lot of evidence to suggest that it works.”
He says the studies are so significant that many companies are already well on their way to developing products in the area.
Mr Nima Heidari, a orthopedic surgeon at The Regenerative Clinic in London, says it’s very unlikely that the treatment Schumacher had would have been allowed in the UK.
He told Mirror Online: “There has to be enough evidence for it to get the seal of approval. To get that seal of approval sometimes requires an enormous amount of investment.
“It is a field of enormous potential.
“This could bring it to a high profile, and it opens more eyes to the possibility that these procedures do exist.”
As an orthopedic surgeon, Dr Heidari is particularly passionate about the life-changing effects similar treatments could have on other people.