Approach: Anti-Aging Medicine
North Dallas Plastic Surgery recommends that our patients maintain
a healthy lifestyle in regard to nutrition,
exercise and avoidance of substance abuse and cigarette
We do not recommend indiscriminate
use of herbal supplements, which may have
pharmacological effects but generally lack consistency
of formulation and dosage.
We do not sell dietary supplements or prescribe
We believe that it is important for a cosmetic surgery
patient to be in a good physical and mental condition and
observing a healthy lifestyle prior to undergoing surgery.
Further, we believe that the early postoperative comfort,
length of convalescence and the final results are dependent
on the surgical technique used, along with careful adherence
to good surgical principles. Therefore, we do not routinely
use steroids, herbal preparations or nutritional supplements
in our postoperative regimen.
Our aesthetician dispenses skin care products in our office. Most of these products
have clinically-proven benefits to improve skin quality, can even reverse sun
damage and they are not available over-the-counter. Patients are encouraged to
use the products under the supervision of our aesthetician.
Anti-Aging Medicine: The Fountain of Youth
Cosmetic Surgery: Promises and Pitfalls™
can't stop getting older,
There is an entirely new industry of physicians, other
healthcare providers, and medi-spas that are promoting
anti-aging products, services and lifestyle changes
that they claim will slow, stop or reverse the aging
but you can stop getting old."
- While healthy life-styles, exercise,
and not smoking may result in increased life expectancy
by delaying or preventing the occurrence of age-related
diseases, there is no scientific evidence that
these lifestyle changes affect the process of aging.
- No hormones have been shown to slow, stop or
reverse aging. Studies suggest that Human Growth
Hormone (HGH) could actually have a life SHORTENING
- BILLIONS of dollars are spent by people seeking
the promises of anti-aging.
Bernard, R.W., "Anti-aging" a misnomer?, Aesthetic
Surgery Journal, September 2002.
Human Aging, Scientific American, June 2002.
Modern cosmetic surgery can effectively reverse some of the obvious physical
signs of aging, which can improve one's self-image or the way one feels about
himself/herself. This has its emotional benefits, impacting on personal and
often vocational relationships. Surgery provides an improvement in the outward
appearance of aging, but inward health depends on genetics, lifestyle, nutrition,
It would be wonderful if aging could actually be reversed by medical means -
a true fountain of youth! A new MEDICAL BUSINESS has recently appeared, that
of anti-aging medicine, which has been portrayed as a new medical specialty.
An official sounding "Board of Anti-aging Medicine", which is not an
ABMS board, has recently appeared. (See Promises and Pitfalls: Credentials » for an explanation of medical
There are many established
specialties that deal with wellness or lifestyle aspects
of preventive medicine, including internal medicine, endocrinology
and physical medicine. These specialties deal with preventing
and treating diseases, and should include encouraging a
healthy lifestyle and, when appropriate nutritional supplements.
While the judicious use of vitamins and some herbal supplements
may safely improve one's overall health, there is no scientific
evidence that these nutritional supplements actually PREVENT
aging. The American Medical Association has struggled with
the concept of physicians selling nutritional supplements,
vitamins, herbs and skin care products in offices. The
issue that is widely discussed is that office retail sales
is a potential conflict of interest for the physician,
who is profiting from these sales. Because the doctor-patient
relationship is one of total trust, the patient will likely
make the assumption that the product offered is better
than a similar product available in a retail outlet. When
such products are recommended and sold by the physician,
it can confuse that doctor-patient relationship.
The use of Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is being advocated
clinics" as daily injections to ward off aging. Animal and clinical research
suggest that HGH increases muscle mass and cardiac performance, and even smoothes
facial wrinkling. The Scientific American article (with link below) specifically
states that HGH has not been proven to slow, stop or reverse aging in humans.
Recent reports are even more alarming, in that HGH used for purposes of anti-aging
have caused liver damage and other problems in some people.
According to Paul S. Jellinger, M.D., president, American
Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, long-term use
of HGH may promote heart disease, cancer and arthritis
in people who are NOT HGH DEFICIENT. Further the pituitary
gland (the source of HGH) is a highly complex gland, and
HGH administration can cause interference with the production
of other vital hormones. As with any major medical decision,
be wary of easy solutions and miracle cures and seek a
second opinion from a board-certified specialist (in this
case an endocrinologist).
THE BOTTOM LINE: Benefits are mainly to the bottom line
of anti-aging practitioners.
Like it or not, aging is a normal phenomenon. Surgery can improve one's
appearance, as can a healthy lifestyle - and both can certainly improve ones
mental state and feeling of well-being - BUT NOTHING CAN REVERSE OR PREVENT AGING.
See related website: Scientific
American: Anti-Aging Medicine ».
Procedures Page »
Promises and Pitfalls Information »