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New Cell Therapy Smoothes Out Smile Lines

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CBS Minnesota (con't)

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WOODBURY, Minn. (WCCO) – BOTOX, injections and fillers — and now you can add a new treatment in the fight against wrinkles.

This time, it’s completely natural.

The newly FDA approved procedure uses your own skin cells to treat wrinkles.

While they’re often called smile lines, some say they’re nothing to smile about.

“My kids tease me a lot about these deep crevices, so I’m really excited to have them minimized,” patient Barbara Berg said.

“We definitely are believers,” said Dr. Kristina Shaffer.

The doctors at Dermatology Consultants in Woodbury are such believers that they were first in line for the procedure.

Berg says the treatment, called “LaViv” appealed to her because it sounded more natural.

“What I’m putting in my body is actually coming from me, so it’s not foreign,” Berg said. “So that part I like a lot.”

LaViv involves taking a sample of skin cells called fibroblasts. They are the skin cells that make collagen: the component that helps skin look youthful.

Three small skin samples are then taken from behind the ear.

“That way we can hide the little scar,” Shaffer said.

Patients say it’s a relatively painless procedure. In less than 10 minutes, Berg’s biopsy cells are put in a vile and sent in a temperature controlled box to the laboratory.

“They’re taking these three small skin specimens, and they are isolating the cells that produce collagen,” Shaffer said. “And then they’re taking those cells and they’re making hundreds of millions of those cells.”

The cells are then frozen, sent back, and re-injected into smile lines.

At this point, the FDA has only approved treatment for smile lines.

FDA studies show the procedure will improve appearance for at least six months.

“The physicians used a six point scale,” Shaffer said. “In order to get FDA approval, they had to show a two point improvement on that six point scale.”

Doctors say the treatment of smile lines is only the beginning.

“Cell directed therapy, you know, I think is really the wave of the future,” Shaffer said.

If it does work, Berg says she’ll be a repeat customer.

Like most procedures, the side effects of the treatment can be bruising and bumpiness that go away.

The cost of the procedure is about $4,000 dollars.

Also, there’s an 11 to 22 week waiting period while the cells are sent to the lab.

For more information, click here.

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