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LaViv and becoming your own active ingredient

Is a Solution for:
Sagging Skin
July 30, 2011 Reviewed by Marta 3 Comments
I first heard about LaViv in an article in Vogue magazine and wasn’t sure whether I felt intrigued or repelled by a new kind of anti-aging treatment that plumps out the nasolabial folds by injections of ones own fibroblasts.

Just a few weeks ago, after a many years, LaViv was approved by the FDA as a a personalized cell-based dermal filler. Although this was a huge milestone, shares in Fibrocell,the company behind LaViv, barely moved. Perhaps investors anticipate that consumers might be a little squeamish about the procedure. Here’s how it works.

A small tissue sample is removed from behind a patient's ear and is then sent to Fibrocell's manufacturing facility.  Fibroblasts – cells that synthesizes the extracellular matrix and collagen - are isolated from the sample and are left to “grow in a lab to form a personalized cellular therapy”.  What this seems to be mean is that the fibroblasts are multiplied in cell culture, a process that takes 11 to 22 weeks. They are then shipped back to the doctor, and are re-injected into the patient's face.

Being one’s own active ingredient is probably preferable to being injected with Botox, but does it work. It seems to depend on who you ask. In two clinical trials, 421 patients received either three treatments with laViv or three treatments with an injection that did not contain the cells. Six months after the third treatment, 45 to 57 per cent of patients that had LaViv thought they could see an improvement.

This compares 33 per cent in the control group, which goes to show the power of suggestive thinking. Doctors were more glass half empty. They thought the wrinkles’ appearance improved significantly in only 19-33 percent of the patients who received LaViv.

The most common side effect, occurring in two-thirds of patients, were injection site reactions including redness, bruising, swelling, pain and hemorrhage. Expect to pay about $1,000 to $2,000 to create your “personalized cell bank” and then $300 to $500 for each of the three treatment sessions.
  • September 14, 2011

    by rob

    Botox? this treatment is an alternative to Restylane, not Botox. looking at photoes of celebs who have been steady Restylane users should be a warning that injecting chemicals into your face is not good longterm.

  • September 2, 2011

    by cheryl

    Yes, it may sound scary, but honestly probably a lot less scary that some of the injectables on the market. I had the procedure performed a number of years ago and the results are great. I think it might be costly, but when you factor in the longevity it is worth it. Some patients have experienced results lasting up to 7 years. I am looking forward to when it is available to have around the eye area and the upper lip.

  • July 30, 2011

    by Junko

    LaViv and Selphyl, similar veins? Both seem better than Botox. I feel these are just the beginnings of greater injectables to come. A little creepy, a little scary, but somehow exciting too.

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