Cosmetic filler gains FDA new approval

November 23, 2010 12:14:44 AM PST
A newly approved cosmetic filler is promising to plump the creases on a patient's face, but unlike some other similar treatments, doctors say the results of Sculptra could last for years.

From her side of the mirror, art dealer Jan Badgley sees the frustrating signs of aging.

"The marionette lines here are more intensified, I'd like that to be a little softer," says Badgley.

She's about to try a procedure that promises to plump and smooth her skin slowly.

"You have a gradual improvement to people don't say, 'Oh, just she just had a face lift,'" says Badgley.

At his clinic in Larkspur, Dr. Keith Denkler is preparing to fill the lines in says Badgley's face with collagen. Not bovine collagen from an animal source, but collagen her body will produce itself, after injections of a product called Sculptra.

"Collagen seeding is a good way to think of the concept of Sculptra," says Denkler.

To seed the areas Badgley is concerned with, Denkley injects small amounts Sculptra into the folds around her nose and mouth. The liquid contains synthetic granules that have been used for decades in dissolvable sutures. When injected into skin tissue, the body will begin dissolving the granules, creating collagen in their place.

Sculptra was first used to fill in hollow areas of the face for patients suffering from HIV, AIDS, and other serious illnesses. Last year, it gained FDA approval for cosmetic use.

It will typically take several months before patients like Badgley see results like the ones captured in patients' before and after pictures. Many people need two to three cycles of injections to produce enough facial fat to fill in the lines. But Denkler points out the ultimate results typically last much longer than alternatives, such as traditional collagen fillers.

"It builds up over weeks and months and then it lasts for one or two years at least," says Denkler.

Hopefully giving Badgley the subtle improvement she's looking for.

"That it lasts a long time is very attractive," said Badgely.

The side effects can include redness and swelling. The cost runs between $750 to several thousand dollars, depending on how many sessions are needed.

Written and produced with Tim Didion


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