The last few years have brought some amazing advances in the field of facial rejuvenation. These advances have predominantly been in non-invasive techniques that work to rejuvenate the face.
Women in the prime of their careers do not wish to wait until the age of 60 to have a facelift – they wish to maintain a youthful appearance while they are still working and socializing. They wish to have these procedures done with minimal downtime and, at the same time, have consistent, good results.
Of all the products that Dr. Panchal has worked with, none have revolutionized plastic surgery as much as BOTOX® Cosmetic (hereafter referred to as BOTOX®). BOTOX has become the most frequently used treatment in the U.S., with more than 2 million procedures performed. According to American Society of Plastic Surgeons, only 786,000 patients had Botox in 2000 as compared to over 6 million in 2015, a phenomenal increase of more than 700%.
In spite of its popularity, Dr. Panchal regularly sees patients who have little to no knowledge of what BOTOX is, how it works, and what the possible complications could be. More importantly, many patients do not realize that BOTOX is an adjunct treatment, which should be used in conjunction with other procedures.
Patients should have an evaluation of their face by a plastic surgeon and discuss their long-term goals for the next five years, rather than using BOTOX as a single modality to look younger. Think of it this way: shouldn’t you be spending more time with the physician who helps you achieve your long-term facial rejuvenation goals than you would with a car dealer when purchasing a new car?
Recently, BOTOX has been used to help treat depression in people who haven't seen success with other methods.
The following information will attempt to answer your questions about BOTOX® treatments. If you still have questions after reading this information, please feel free to contact us by calling 405-340-9949.
How Does BOTOX Work?
BOTOX is essentially a purified protein that has been approved by the FDA for facial rejuvenation. Every nerve stimulates the muscles to contract by releasing a chemical known as acetylcholine. BOTOX essentially blocks the release of acetylcholine. This blockage is fortunately – or in some ways, unfortunately – temporary, and the nerve regenerates its ability to overcome the block over time.
Put simply, BOTOX temporarily paralyzes the muscles at the location where it is injected. Most wrinkle lines develop due to over activity of the facial muscles – so they tend to lie perpendicular to the contracting muscles. BOTOX temporarily paralyzes the muscles, thereby reducing or erasing the wrinkles.
How Long Does This Effect Last?
Results will vary from person to person, but generally anywhere from three to four months.
To see other patients’ results, view before and after photos.
Does That Mean I Need to Have BOTOX Every 3-4 Months?
Although you may see some muscle activity return, you need not rush back to your plastic surgeon for more BOTOX immediately. It is advisable to have the treatment two or three times each year. For example, you could have a treatment done in October so that it lasts through the holiday season, and again in the spring to make you look rejuvenated during the spring/summer vacation seasons.
Can I Get Addicted to BOTOX? Are There Any Adverse Long-Term Effects?
None of the medical studies to-date have found any addiction or cumulative adverse long-term effects from BOTOX. Keep in mind that more than 6 million BOTOX-related procedures are performed every year just in the US – and that is a staggering number.
Where Can BOTOX Help Me?
- Between the brows (glabella) – this helps eliminate “frowning” by preventing the eyebrows from coming close to each other and depressing the eyebrows
- Forehead wrinkle lines – this helps erase the horizontal lines on your forehead by paralyzing the frontalis muscles, which elevate your eyebrows
- Crow’s feet around your eyes – this helps decrease the lines around the eyes, but does not completely eliminate them
- Around the lips – it can minimize (but not completely eliminate) the lines around your lips. You can also enhance the shape of your lips by using BOTOX to make them pout further
- Chin – if you have a multi-dimpled or puckered chin, BOTOX can make it smoother
- Neck or platysma bands - BOTOX can eliminate the bands over your neck, but unfortunately, it cannot help the loose skin or a double chin.
Can BOTOX Be Used to Shape My Eyebrows?
Actually, yes! By selectively paralyzing the muscles that depress the eyebrows and those that raise them, a physician can create an aesthetically pleasing arched shape for the eyebrows.
It’s important to use a physician who fully understands the anatomy and the function of the muscles underneath your skin, so you do not have any inadvertent paralysis of muscles that could result in asymmetry. Choosing a plastic surgeon who has intimate knowledge and training is a wise choice- after all, it is your face.
Is It True that BOTOX Can Be Used to Treat Migraines?
Yes. At least two research studies in plastic surgery literature have conclusively proven that BOTOX can minimize the number of migraines and the intensity of these disabling headaches.
One of the reasons why a migraine can develop is due to irritation of the nerves that traverse between the forehead and scalp muscles. By paralyzing the muscles, these nerves are not irritated and do not lead to the initiation of a migraine. The correct location of the migraine and the nerves is essential in treating migraine attacks.
Does BOTOX Make Me Lose Facial Expression?
No. If correctly administered by a plastic surgeon with a detailed knowledge of the underlying muscles of animation of the face, forehead or brow, they are never completely eliminated. You will appear rejuvenated but not paralyzed.
Can Anyone Be Treated with BOTOX? Are There Some Patients on Whom BOTOX Should Not Be Used?
- BOTOX is not recommended if you have an infection at the site of injection.
- Those with peripheral motor nerve disorders, such as myasthenia gravis (a temporary but progressive paralysis of the muscles) are at increased risk of complications.
- Certain antibiotics, like gentamycin, can interfere with the effect of BOTOX®.
- Always tell your physician whether you are pregnant or lactating.
Make sure your physician takes a history of your medications. You should be asked to sign an informed consent form, which generally explains the risks and benefits of BOTOX.
What Can I Expect at the Doctor's Office?
Make sure you have an initial consultation with your plastic surgeon and discuss your long-term goals. Your plastic surgeon can fully discuss all the options available to you today and over the next few years.
Once you have had a detailed discussion about this, BOTOX is administered via a fine needle. Generally no topical anesthesia is given, but cooling with ice helps to ease any minor discomfort.
The location of the injection is critical, as is the dilution and the dosage at each site. If over-diluted BOTOX is administered at incorrect locations, desired results may not be achieved. It’s important to discuss the amount injected with your plastic surgeon. Generally, four units are delivered at each injection site. Typically 20-24 units are injected between the brows, 12-16 units to your forehead lines and 16-20 units to the crow’s feet.
Studies have shown that the effect of BOTOX is dosage-dependent and less than an optimal dose can lead to early return of muscles’ function.
How Soon Will I See Results?
Generally, it takes 4-7 days for BOTOX to have its full effect.
What Are the Possible Side Effects of BOTOX?
- Some patients suffer headaches, although studies have shown that this is unrelated to BOTOX.
- One percent of patients develop eyelid drooping due to the effect of BOTOX on the muscles that elevate the eyelid. This muscle is very close to the brows.
- Asymmetry of the eyebrows is possible, and if BOTOX is administered on the forehead too close to the eyebrows, it can lead to both eyebrows sagging, making the eyes look smaller and narrower. This side effect will be temporary and can be corrected by relaxing the muscles that depress the eyebrows
Is It Appropriate to Have BOTOX at a “BOTOX Party”?
BOTOX, like any other procedure, requires an evaluation so that the patient is fully aware of the risks and benefits. An informed consent form needs to be obtained from the patient prior to injection. If you are under the influence of alcohol, you certainly are not in an appropriate position to understand the risks and benefits of undergoing BOTOX.
Who Is the Best Person to Provide BOTOX Treatment?
A qualified plastic surgeon who is trained and certified in providing BOTOX treatment is the best person to provide BOTOX. More importantly, choose a plastic surgeon who can fully evaluate you, make up a long-term plan customized just for you, and educate you about both invasive and non-invasive procedures.
Always choose your plastic surgeon carefully. After all, the physician will be your personal plastic surgeon for your lifetime. Genesis Plastic Surgery & Medical Spa serves patients throughout the Oklahoma City area, including Edmond, Norman and Lawton. Call us at 405-340-9949 today to schedule your appointment.