A youthful appearance is especially important to 49-year-old Heather Davis.
She has been a successful Miami model for many years and is now trying a new type of facial filler recently approved by the FDA in June.
“I’ve been a big fan of using all the fillers and I just decided hearing about this new product I thought it would be amazing to try something new which is actually coming from my own skin and my own cells,” says Davis.
It’s called LAVIV and it’s unlike the popular facial fillers made mostly with hyaluronic acid or calcium hydroxylapatite. The Miami Institute in Brickell is the first practice in South Florida to start using this novel treatment. Dr. Julio Gallo is the medical director.
“What we’re doing today is we’re getting Heather ready for LAVIV. LAVIV is the first FDA approved cellular therapy to treat the wrinkles of the laugh lines of the smile lines,” said Gallo.
Davis began a process to use her own skin cells to fill in her face. First, Gallo at took a little piece of skin from behind her ear, because it’s an area not exposed to the sun.
Fibroblasts cells in your skin produce collagen, which is the body’s own natural filler. So Davis’ skin sample will be shipped to the Fibrocell Science Lab., where they will use her fibroplasts.
"Her own skin cells are processed and grown and multiplied so that then we can get the cells back in three months and we can inject it in her face. We’re actually using live cellular tissue so it’s not only a filling but a tissue regeneration,” said Gallo.
Davis’ lines will be injected three times one month apart.
“So I’m really excited to see how this is going to progress and the results that I’m going to have,” she said.
Gallo says the cost for the full cycle of LAVIV treatment is between $3,000 and $3,500. It’s unclear how long the regenerating results will last. Facial fillers that use hyaluronic acid cost around $700 per treatment and generally it’s redone very six to twelve months.