Stem Cell Therapy = Snake Oil?

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So I just flew back from New Orleans from the Amercian Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS) meeting 2012, and  just in time before the hurricane hit.  I heard a great lecture by a friend and colleague about the whole stem cell therapy mystique, and he basically stated be careful about the potential for this being marketed like snake oil was in the past.  Patients have been asking me constantly about stem cell therapy facelifting, breast augmentation, etc..  I have been telling them that while yes there are stem cells harvested with fat cells , we really do not know what they do in these environments. My friend and lecturer spoke about the incredible marketing hype and the real limitations of research that have not shown any benefit to this treatment.  Yet there are centers popping up all over the world. He looked at over 9000 reported papers on the subject with only about 6 with any true research. Of which only 2 had any significant numbers of patients or animals in their studies.  In their opinion the results were inconclusive.  As always, I am concerned for the safety of my patients and will only prescribe treatments that I think are safe and sound with benefit clearly documented through accurate scientific investigation.  I will say caveat emptor!  or in english “buyer beware.”

Steven Wallach MD

Steven Wallach MD

Dr. Wallach is a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City who specializes in performing cosmetic procedures of the face, breast and body. As one of the cutting edge experts in the field, Dr. Wallach consults on a regular basis with people in the beauty, media, and publishing worlds.

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