An ideal cosmetic procedure would be one that fulfills a commonly desired result safely, with few side effects, has rapid recovery, is inexpensive and can be reversed if the result is not satisfactory.
Botox® injections come close to meeting these criteria. Botox® injections are used to weaken the fine muscles around the eyes and forehead that are responsible for the frown lines and deep wrinkles that occur in these areas. By selectively weakening the proper muscles, the surgeon can eliminate the wrinkles without disturbing normal function. Treatment consists of a number of tiny injections made through a very fine needle directly into the muscle. Effects of the injections begin to appear within a few days. The results generally last around four months, after which time, the injections must be repeated. There is some current evidence that suggests that repeated injections may ultimately lead to longer lasting results.
While the use of Botox® is relatively new in cosmetic surgical practices, it is, by no means, untested. For many years, it has been used in the treatment of patients who have spasmodic contraction of the eyes or other facial muscles in conditions such as hemi-facial spasm or blepharospasm as well as in certain spasmodic voice disorders.
Botox® injections appear to be very safe. The most serious side effect that has been observed is either drooping of the eyelid or double vision. This results from weakening of the muscles very close to the eyelid or within the orbit. The complication is self-limited and wears off — usually within a few weeks. To avoid these problems, injections are kept away from the eyelid itself. Bruising can also occur at the injection site, but this clears rapidly and is usually gone within a day or so, and is easily covered with make up. No systemic side effects have been noted.
There are some patients that do not respond to Botox® injections and we have seen some cases where patients eventually become resistant to the effect of the drug, but a very high percentage of patients treated are highly satisfied and return for follow up injections. We have also found occasional instances where a patient failed to respond on one occasion but got good results at a later session.
While the treatment can be used alone, it is often used as an adjunct to other cosmetic procedures such as facelift, forehead lift, blepharoplasty or laser resurfacing. Our experience, to date, has been highly satisfying and we are recommending this treatment with enthusiasm.