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Botox® Cosmetic

BOTOX® Cosmetic can be used to smooth wrinkles in the neck and face to create a more youthful appearance. It is especially useful in the eye area. Removing wrinkles from between the eyes can dramatically change a person’s look from one of permanent anger or sadness to one of contentment and restedness. It is also frequently used on the thin wrinkles that surround the eyes (often called “crows feet”) and the mouth, but can also be used in other areas, such as along the chin and jaw.

The solution used in these treatments is made of botulinum A toxin, a purified protein made from botulism bacteria. This solution temporarily paralyzes nerves of the facial muscles so that they cannot contract and cause wrinkles in the area being treated.
BOTOX® Cosmetic may also be helpful in treating migraine headaches, and can be used to decrease excess sweating of the palms and underarms.

If you’re considering BOTOX® Cosmetic treatment, the following information will provide you with a good introduction to the procedure. For more detailed information about how this procedure may help you, we recommend that you consult a plastic surgeon who is board certified or has completed a residency program that includes instruction in this procedure.

Common Questions

What are some of the most common benefits of BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments?

BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments are unique in that they can be used to remove dynamic wrinkles -- the wrinkles that are produced by facial movement.

How are BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments performed?

BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments are brief and simple. First, the skin is treated with a topical numbing agent, and you may be given a sedative as well. Next, very small amounts of BOTOX® Cosmetic are strategically injected in different parts of the face. This is accomplished with thin needles that cause very little pain.

How long do BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments take?
Depending on the number of BOTOX® Cosmetic injections needed, the treatment may take 10 to 30 minutes.

Where are the treatments performed?
BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments can be performed in the doctor’s office or in a surgical suite. Anesthesia is rarely needed, but sedatives and numbing agents may be used.

How much pain is there?

There is some discomfort involved with the injections, but the discomfort is slight. The feeling has been likened to an insect bite. After the procedure, there is virtually no pain.

What can I expect after BOTOX® Cosmetic treatment?
The results of BOTOX® Cosmetic treatment are generally visible within 3 to 5 days. Although results vary, the results of an individual treatment last for about 4 to 6 months. The procedure may be repeated and, with each new treatment, the results tend to last longer.

What is the recovery period like?

You’ll probably be able to return to work or home immediately after the procedure. However, care must be taken to keep the head upright and avoid massaging the treated area, so that the BOTOX® Cosmetic affects only the desired areas.

What is the long-term outcome like for most people?
Most people are very pleased with the results. For long-term results, the procedure will most likely need to be repeated.

How long do the results of BOTOX® Cosmetic last?
Although results vary, the results of an individual BOTOX® Cosmetic treatment last for about 4 to 6 months. With each new treatment, the results tend to last longer.

Other important information:
This procedure can remove or deter wrinkles by preventing the repeated facial expressions that contribute to their formation. It cannot improve the overall texture of the skin, but procedures such as laser skin resurfacing and dermabrasion can be used to accomplish this. It cannot tighten the facial skin either. Look for face lift and forhead lift for ways to accomplish this.

Mild bruising or swelling may occur at the site of the injection. The treatment may also cause a brief headache. In rare cases, the injections may cause the eyebrow or upper eyelid to droop, but this condition is temporary and corrects itself without treatment within 2 to 3 weeks.
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BOTOX® Cosmetic Costs:
The national average of 1999 surgeon fees for a botox procedure was $432 (Source: The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery). Regional averages: New England states: $510; middle Atlantic states: $377; north central states: $502; south central states: $382; and mountain/Pacific states: $369. These fees do not include operating room facility, hospital stay and other related expenses. You should ask your surgeon if your needs are medically indicated, in which case the costs may be covered by medical insurance.

Be sure to:

* Tell your doctor about any allergies you have (to foods, drugs, environmental elements)
* Tell your doctor about all medications, herbal supplements or natural supplements you are taking (both prescription and non-prescription), including such natural remedies as Echinacea and St. John’s Wort.
* Carefully follow any instructions the doctor gives you.
The information on this web site is only intended as an introduction to this procedure. This information should not be used to determine whether you will have the procedure performed nor as a guarantee of the results. The best method of determining your options is to consult qualified dermatologists who are able to answer specific questions related to your situation.