BOTOX® is a biological toxin (Botulinum Toxin Type A) transformed into a therapeutic agent. Work with BOTOX® began in the late 1960s to treat neurological disorders. Today, BOTOX® is used for the treatment of frown lines, forehead furrows, "crows feet," lines and wrinkles of the lower face, and even nasal muscles (to decrease nostril flaring). BOTOX® injections have proven to be a very popular nonsurgical cosmetic procedure; see current American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) statistics. Aesthetic plastic surgeons have found that the type of lines and wrinkles that respond to BOTOX® injections are those caused by the musclesspecifically those muscles that contract during facial expressions such as frowning or squinting.
The patient is asked to contract the muscles in the area being treated so the surgeon can determine the proper location for injection. In most cases, BOTOX® is injected directly into the muscle with a tiny needle. It takes a few days to realize the effect of BOTOX® injections.
No downtime. Patients can immediately resume normal activities.
Long experience has proven BOTOX® to be safe. To date, no systemic complications associated with BOTOX® injections have been documented.
Treatment is reversible within several months.
May be beneficial for treatment of migraine headaches.
BOTOX injections are a temporary solution for the treatment of wrinkles. The effects last from 3-4 months and require repeat treatments.
Possible side effects include local numbness, swelling, bruising, or a burning sensation during injection. Some patients have reported temporary headache and nausea. Most complications are of short duration and can be avoided with proper injection techniques.
A small percentage of patients are reported to experience no improvement at all.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) maintains that BOTOX® injections for aesthetic purposes appear to be safe and effective. Patients who show early signs of aging, as well as those who may not be suitable candidates for more extensive aesthetic facial surgery, may be good candidates for this procedure. Certain medications (some antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, or aspirin) and even some vitamins and herbs may increase the potency of BOTOX® and may increase bleeding and bruising at the time of injection. Therefore, patients should be candid with their surgeon about all medications and supplements. Pregnant or nursing women should postpone undergoing this procedure. It is not known whether injection of BOTOX® has any effect on a fetus or whether it is found in breast milk.