Botox Injections have become an increasingly important supplement to the facial plastic surgeon's repertoire in recent years. The proper use of Botox can produce near elimination of age lines and creases around the eyes, brows and forehead. It is a fast, safe and well-tolerated technique with predictable results.
Below are some commonly asked questions regarding Botox:
What is Botox?
Botox is Botulinum Toxin Type A, a purified neurotoxin complex produced by the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum. The toxin has been used widely for nearly 20 years to treat muscular dysfunction of the eyes and vocal cords. More recently, cosmetic surgeons have begun using the toxin to correct premature age lines of the face.
How does Botox work?
Botulinum toxin is a nerve impulse "blocker". It binds to nerve endings and prevents the release of chemical messengers that cause a muscle to contract or spasm. Muscular contraction is what creates many of the common age lines around the eyes and in the forehead.
Will I get Botulism?
No! Botox is delivered in minute quantities to achieve the desired cosmetic result. A person would need to be injected with nearly 30 bottles of Botox in order to develop botulism.
How long will the results last?
Length of results varies, but generally most patients have excellent results for 4-6 months. As the injections are repeated, longer intervals of time may elapse between injections as the treated muscle becomes weakened. A small percentage of patients will become immune to the toxin's benefits with time.
Are the injections painful?
The injections are administered using a very small needle and are carried out very rapidly. Most patients, even those with fear of needles, tolerate the injections well. A topical anesthetic cream can be prescribed to pretreat the area if you desire.
What areas of the face can be treated?
Botox is mainly used to treat age lines around the eyes (crow's feet), brow (anger lines) and forehead (worry lines). Botox cannot be used on age lines around the mouth.
What are the risks involved?
Complications from Botox injections are very rare. Conservative use of Botox is recommended for all new patients until the desired cosmetic result is achieved. Established patients can be treated more aggressively. The unusual complications that can occur include: drooping of the upper eyelid, sagging of the lower eyelid and alteration in tearing. These complications are temporary. Some medications can enhance the effect of Botox, be sure to review your current medications with the physician.
Tips to Remember:
- The effect of the Botox is not immediate. Results are usually seen at 5-8 days following the treatment.
- If the desired cosmetic result is not achieved at two weeks, additional Botox can be administered following discussions with the cosmetic surgeon.
- There is minimal change in the appearance of the skin after injections. There may be a slight bruising at the injection sites, but this is unusual. Make-up can be worn the following day.
- Costs of the Botox injections are directly related to the number of facial areas treated. There is generally no charge for additional injections within the first 2-3 weeks to achieve the desired cosmetic result. Costs are always discussed with the patient prior to treatment.
- There is no limit to the number of times a patient can be treated.
- There is no significant post-injection recovery time. Most patients leave immediately following the treatments and are able to drive themselves. If you fell you will require some sedation prior to Botox injections, please discuss this with your physician and arrange alternate transportation.
- There is a doctor available 24 hours a day if you should have a problem during your recovery period.