What is Botox?
Botox is a weakened form of Botulinum toxin. It works by weakening the muscles that control facial expressions. Botox can be an extremely effective treatment for wrinkles in the upper third of the face, including the forehead, between the eyes, and around the eyes in the "crows feet" areas. Botox is the only form of botulinum toxin currently approved by the FDA for cosmetic purposes.
Who is a Good Candidate for Botox?
Candidates must be in good health, have no active diseases or serious, pre-existing medical conditions, and must have realistic expectations of the outcome of the surgery. In general, the best candidates for Botox are individuals with mild wrinkling of the face. During the initial consultation, your physician will determine if you are a good candidate for Botox or if an alternative cosmetic technique will yield better results.
How are the Botox Injections Performed?
Using a very tiny needle, small amounts of Botox are injected into the muscles to be paralyzed. Depending on the areas being treated, 5 to 15 needle pricks (or more) may be required. Discomfort is minimal and lasts only a few seconds. This paralysis is temporary, and re-injection is necessary within three to ten months.
Planning for Your Procedure
The first step is to schedule a personal consultation with your plastic surgeon. Communication is crucial in reaching your goals. You will have the opportunity to express your goals and the results you'd like to achieve. Together, you and your surgeon will reach an understanding about what you can expect from this procedure and the benefits you will experience. Every patient is different, and your surgeon will choose the technique and treatment plan that is right for you. During the initial consultation:
Provide a complete medical history, including information about previous surgical procedures; past and present medical conditions; and any medications or herbal supplements you are taking.
Expect your surgeon to conduct a complete physical examination.
Be prepared to discuss possible risks and complications of the procedure.
Preparing for Your Procedure
You will be given an information packet that explains everything you should do and know before your procedure date. Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare and what you can expect during the recovery period.
Types of Anesthesia
You'll remain comfortable throughout the entire procedure. In most cases, no anesthetic or only a topical anesthetic is needed.