Health Alert: GFX procedure zaps wrinkles

NATIONAL - With more than four million Botox procedures done in 2006, you could say this is a "Botox generation." But there's a new technology that can smooth wrinkles with a zap.

Alaine Hay's about to try a new procedure to relax her creased eyebrows, called GFX. "The technology borrows the principal of radio-frequency ablation from cardiology."

GFX targets the nerves that trigger muscle wrinkling.

"The thinking behind it is that we can cause focal damage to the actual nerves that innervate these muscles. And so we can get longer-lasting, Botox-like results," says Doctor Cameron Rokhsar.

Botox works by blocking nerve signals, while GFX causes a pinpoint of damage to break those pathways. Dr. Rokhsar says, "We can actually cause the nerve not to, you know, talk to the muscle, and this way we can make the frown lines better."

For the treatment, a needle-like probe is inserted in the eyebrow area. Then, nerves are stimulated to find the ones that cause furrows. The probe is heated to damage each nerve, and break the 'frown' signals.

According to Doctor Rokhsar, the results last about a year; that's four times as long as Botox.

And there's another reason people are eyeing this "no-tox" technology, as Dr. Rokhsar explains, "And there's a group of patients that are kind of opposed to the idea of having a toxin in their face, even though it's perfectly safe."

And it's all without the "frozen" look some get from injections.

Right now, the eyebrow area is being targeted with GFX, but Doctor Rokhsar expects it will be used for other muscle-related wrinkles in the future.

Posted by Chantelle Janelle