Blog

What is Botox: Houston Surgeon Dr. Chris Livingston Answers Your Questions

THE TRUTH ABOUT BOTOX
In this tough economy when budgets are tight, Botox and soft tissue fillers can be the most cost effective way of achieving your aesthetic goals.
 

Q: WHAT IS BOTOX AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

A: Botox is a toxin purified from Clostridium botulinum. In very small dosages, it blocks acetycholine release (muscle stimulator) from within the muscle cells preventing contraction and thus paralyzing the muscle(s) that cause the facial wrinkle. Botox works by diffusion into the targeted muscles and is not systemically absorbed. It is important to note, that Botox will soften the muscles that cause active (dynamic) wrinkles but will not treat permanent (static) wrinkles. Soft tissue fillers such as the hyaluronic acids (Restylane, Juvaderm, Prevelle Silk) or calcium hydroxyapetite (Radiesse) are most effective for the deep static wrinkles.

Q: WHAT RESULTS CAN I EXPECT?

A: Botox is administered in an office setting after placement of a topical anesthetic gel, which reduces injection discomfort. The most common areas treated are superficial wrinkles of the forehead and around the eyes and mouth. Injections take less than 5 minutes, are essentially painless, and results are typically seen within 3-5 days. One can expect the results to last 3 to 6 months, although wide variability exists due to dilution techniques and individual muscle activity. Certainly with the addition of soft tissue fillers, facial and neck wrinkles can be reduced and with more advanced injection techniques, lifting of sagging soft tissue can be obtained.

Q: WHAT ARE THE POTENTIAL COMPLICATIONS?

A: Complications are extremely rare. However, side effects such as injection site pain, bruising, and edema resolve within 24 hours. Paralysis of unintended adjacent muscles can occur and obviate an experienced physician injector with thorough understanding of the facial anatomy. To decrease the possibility of complications and side effects and thus unhappy patients, I always examine the individual, discuss the product and options available, mark my intended injection sites, and personally perform the procedure.

You can contact Dr. Christopher K. Livingston at Livingston Plastic Surgery today.