Cosmetic Stem Cell Surgery – Hope or Hype?

Stem cells have caught the imagination of medical specialists and researchers over the past decade. The idea that your body holds within it the ability to regenerate and heal itself through these wonder cells has an irresistible appeal. Stem cells show good promise for numerous d How Do You If Your Ex Boyfriend Wants You Back ifficult diseases for which modern medicine has few good answers. Clinical trials for some neurologic and degenerative disease therapies have been encouraging.

Because of the uncomitted nature of stem cells, it is no surprise that it has been touted for the most common of all human conditions…that of aging. As an anti-aging treatment, stem cells have become the magic pixie dust  allegedly contained in numerous topical skin therapies and cosmetic surgeries. A topical potion that may contain stem cells is surely as close to the fountain of youth as we have ever been. Their use has spilled over into cosmetic surgeries which are now being advertised for such procedures as stem cell facelifts and stem-cell-enhanced fat injection breast augmentations.  These are being promoted as not only cutting edge operations but promising results that are far better than traditional methods of plastic surgery used.

When you factor in that everyone has plenty of stem cells throughout their body, many of whom lie in great numbers in our fat, their benefits seem obvious. How could they not make any cosmetic surgery better?

While stem cells are a part of the future of some medical therapies, they currently represent a potential case of a ‘truism.’ Truisms are common beliefs in which something just seems to be so true that we assume that it is…only later on closer scrutiny to be proven to not be so. Currently stem cells, at least in anti-aging therapies and plastic surgery, has many of the makings of a truism.

Those that advertise and market them are making claims that are far ahead of proven science. There has yet to be a single piece of medical evidence or research that has shown that stem cells can make your skin younger or your facelift last longer or look better. While we would like it to be true, and it seems that it should be true, the reality is that stem cells and anti-aging effects are still courting but there is no signs yet that they are to be married.

Because fat is resplendid with stem cells and fat injections are a common part of many plastic surgery procedures today, it is tempting to call them ‘stem-cell enhanced’ or even a stem cell therapy. This is false advertising at the least and deceptive at the worst. While stem cells may be part of our fat, we don’t yet even know how to make them work or what they would do if they could be turned on.

If you drawn to some type of cosmetic stem cell treatment, whether it be a cream or surgery, remember that nothing sells better than hope.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

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