CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Hannelore Horne is afraid of surgery.
"I would never go under the knife. I'm a chicken," she admits.
So the 61-year-old interior decorator is trying the newest facial filler -- one that uses your own blood instead of artificial products. It's called Selphyl and Hannelore hopes it will smooth out the wrinkles around her mouth.
"I'm thrilled about this. If you can offer a woman a natural alternative, that's very exciting -- as opposed to something artificial," said Dr. Kim Crosby, a Charlotte physician who has worked with Selphyl.
We followed Hannelore through the in-office procedure. Dr. Steven Weston of Azure Med Spa in Charlotte removes a small amount of Hannelore's own blood and separates the red and white blood cells from the plasma and platelets. The new product is injected back into Hannelore's wrinkles.
"I think it's a stretch of the imagination," said board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jean-Francois Lafaivre of Carolinas Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery.
He's not convinced the new procedure is worth the $1,000 price tag.
"It certainly is appealing if it works, but at this point, I don't think there's enough evidence to recommend it," Lafaivre said.
Lafaivre doesn't believe the scientific studies go far enough. But the company that developed the technology to create the filler says patients are seeing long-lasting results, sometimes as soon as three weeks after the treatment.
Weston says patients may have to wait up to six months to see results.
Hannelore Horne, meanwhile, is seeing results she likes.
"I feel this treatment has heeled me tremendously," she said. "I felt young on the inside, but the outside wasn't how I felt, so this is a big help."
The maker of the Selphyl procedure says more studies are on the way. But experts offer sound advice: Before trying any new procedure, consult several doctors.