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General Health Channel
Reported April 27, 2006

Permanent Facial Filler up for FDA Approval

By Vivian Richardson, Ivanhoe Health Correspondent

ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- A new permanent facial filler could be a long-lasting answer for those looking to erase some of the signs of aging.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in Orlando, Fla., Steven Cohen, M.D., said Artefill would be the first permanent wrinkle filler approved for use in the United States. An FDA study of the product has been completed, and the company expects to hear the final word within the next few months.

Artefill is made of microscopic spheres of polymethyl methacrylate, the same material used to make Plexiglas. The highly polished spheres are mixed with purified bovine collagen. The material is injected using a syringe under the skin in places where patients want lines to be less noticeable. Past studies revealed the product stimulates the body to create its own collagen, thus filling in wrinkles. It would be indicated for use in the nasolabial folds, or laugh lines.

"Artefill is a unique kind of tissue engineering feat, I think, in some ways because in many ways Artefill is only 20 percent of the solution, and the way the body's own tissue reacts to this filler is the other 80 percent," says Dr. Cohen, a plastic surgeon from San Diego.

There are side effects associated with the use of facial line fillers. As with other products, patients will sometimes develop lumps and bumps where the filler is injected. These are treated with steroids or by removing the lumps.

Artefill has been available in Europe for some time. Dr. Cohen says he understands why the FDA has taken the time to fully study the product. "When you start talking about anything permanent, you start talking about something that could also be a permanent problem," he says. He says more products like Artefill will likely be developed in the future. "This, perhaps, represents the beginning of a more scientific approach to simply filling a space but developing products that cause the body to react in such a manner that produce the desired effect."

Dr. Cohen is a shareholder of the company that produces Artefill.

This article was reported by Ivanhoe.com, who offers Medical Alerts by e-mail every day of the week. To subscribe, go to: /newsalert/.

SOURCE: Vivian Richardson at The Aesthetic Meeting 2006, the annual meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in Orlando, Fla., April 21-25, 2006

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