He’s overcome multiple cancer diagnoses,
a tabloid-ridden divorce and painful back surgery.
Now just as his life was getting back on track,
Tarek El Moussa, star of HGTV’s “Flip or Flop”,
is dealing with an old health issue all over again.
The last five years of my life
have been an absolute roller coaster.
A lot of great things, I became a new father,
our TV show became a success,
and at the same time, there’s been a lot of lows.
Going through cancer, I went through a very public divorce.
I had a horrific back injury.
I was finally to the point where life was great,
and all of a sudden about two months ago,
I was at the gym and I hurt my back.
The first time I hurt my back was a few years ago.
I slipped multiple discs.
The doctor said, just give it some time and it might heal.
But it was so bad, I could barely move.
I did some physical therapy,
but because I was in so much back pain,
I was taking a lot of pain medications.
My stomach hurt all the time
and I ended up losing 50 to 60 pounds.
My skin was bright white.
I was really sick.
I looked like a cadaver.
At the end of the day, after 10 months of zero improvement
and living in absolute pain, I decided to get the surgery.
It took me a long time to recover from the back injury,
and I’ve been doing amazing.
Best shape of my life.
Things were going great.
My relationship with Christina was good.
And in the middle of filming season seven of “Flip or Flop”,
I was doing dead lifts at the gym.
Next thing you know, I was on the ground.
I hurt my back bad to the point
where I knew I was in big trouble.
I couldn’t go through what I went through again.
So, I knew I had to do something different.
So, I looked into stem cell therapy,
and I ended getting two procedures.
They numb you, they take out fat,
inject stem cells back into you.
So, I’m very, very hopeful that it works,
because if it doesn’t work,
I’m gonna be back on those pills and living a horrific life.
So, my fingers are crossed and I’m really hopeful this time.
We’re now joined by “Flip or Flop” star, Tarek El Moussa.
Welcome back, sir.
Welcome back, it’s been a while.
It has been a while.
You look good.
Thank you, thank you.
Yeah, you look well.
Out of curiosity, what part of your back
were you dealing with these issues?
Okay, so I slipped multiple discs
from the midway point all the way down,
to where the pain was down on my spine tailbone area,
and the sciatica’s shooting down to my ankle.
So, you decided this time around to do
the stem cell procedure, right?
They did liposuction, they pulled fat out.
Which is very weird, getting liposuction, by the way.
That’s a very California experience.
And I was like, well, while you’re doing it,
can you a little bit more?
They said no.
Well, you do look thinner, by the way.
I was like, yeah, two for one?
This is great.
So, it was wild.
So, they pull out the fat, you see, and they spin it.
And then they injected it through my body,
and it searches through my body
to find inflammation and damage.
And I can say this right now, it’s the future.
It was a miracle.
Within three weeks, I had more progress
than a year and a half before,
and today, standing here, I am pain free.
Good for you.
And with that technique, when they take the fat
into the centrifuge process
that somehow separates these cells
that are more likely to have a stem cell like effect.
Joining us now to discuss this
is orthopedic spine surgery, Dr. Hooman Melamed.
Because Tarek clearly had just a wonderful result,
and you’re like, I’ll say it,
it sounds like it sucked in terms of dealing
with all the pain.
Here he is, pain free.
We wanted to have you on because we’re curious
from a medical perspective, when it comes to the back,
how these treatments work, and then of course,
who might be a candidate.
I think it’s very, very important first to figure out
the reason why the patient ended up with that condition.
What is the, you have look at the patient’s lifestyle.
I think just coming in and sometimes saying,
oh I’m just gonna inject some stem cells,
we’re gonna get you going, that may not be the answer.
Because if the patient’s body, for example,
if they’re full of inflammation,
they’re not on a good diet.
For example, if you’re on a processed food,
fast food diet, a lot of sodas,
you have a lot of inflammation in your body,
like a lot of dairy.
Stem cell honestly, is not gonna be optimized.
So you have to clean up your diet.
And also, you have to look at the lifestyle.
What you are doing on a daily activity.
Is that contributing to having spine problems
or muscular skeleton problems?
So, if you’re sitting all day,
which we know is not good for you, sitting all day.
If, for example, you’re working out the wrong way,
that’s not good for you.
You’re gonna do damage.