Overview

Clostridia botulina bacteria produce a class of chemical compounds known as “toxins”. The Botulina Type A Toxin is processed and purified to produce a sterile product suitable for specific therapeutic uses. Once the diluted toxin is injected, it produces a temporary paralysis (chemodenervation) of muscle by preventing transmission of nerve impulses to muscle. The duration of muscle paralysis generally lasts for approximately three to four months.

Why it’s done

Botulina Toxin Type A, injections are customized for every patient, depending on his or her particular needs. These can be performed in areas involving the eyelid region, forehead, and neck. Botulina Toxin Type A can temporarily diminish the look of wrinkles caused by muscle groups. Botulina Toxin Type A, injections may be performed as a singular procedure or as an adjunct to a surgical procedure.

Botulina Toxin Type A, has been approved to treat certain conditions involving crossed eyes (strabismus), eyelid spasm(blepharospasm), cervical dystonia (spastic muscle disorder with the neck) and motor disorders of the facial nerve (VII cranial nerve). As of April 2002, it has been FDA-approved for the cosmetic treatment of forehead wrinkles caused by specific muscle groups. Botulina Toxin Type A, has also been used to treat migraine headaches, colorectal disorders, excessive perspiration disorders of the armpit and hands, and musculoskeletal pain disorders.

Risks

Every procedure involves a certain amount of risk and it is important that you understand these risks and the possible complications associated with them. In addition, every procedure has limitations. An individual’s choice to undergo a surgical procedure is based on the comparison of the risk to potential benefit. Although the majority of patients do not experience these complications, you should discuss each of them with your plastic surgeon to make sure you understand risks, potential complications, limitations, and consequences.

  • Bleeding: It is possible, though unusual, to experience a bleeding episode during or after surgery. Should post- operative bleeding occur, it may require emergency treatment to drain accumulated blood or you may require a blood transfusion, though such occurrences are rare. Increased activity too soon after surgery can lead to increased chance of bleeding and additional surgery. It is important to follow postoperative instructions and limit exercise and strenuous activity for the instructed time. Do not take any aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications for at least ten days before or after surgery, as this may increase the risk of bleeding. Non-prescription “herbs” and dietary supplements can increase the risk of surgical bleeding. Hematoma can occur at any time, usually in the first three weeks following injury to the operative area. If blood transfusions are necessary to treat blood loss, there is the risk of blood-related infections such as hepatitis and HIV (AIDS). Heparin medications that are used to prevent blood clots in veins can produce bleeding and decreased blood platelets.Infection: Infection is unusual after surgery. Should an infection occur, additional treatment including antibiotics,hospitalization, or additional surgery may be necessary. It is important to tell your surgeon of any other infections, such as ingrown toenail, insect bite, or urinary tract infection. Remote infections, infections in other parts of the body, may lead to an infection in the operated area. 

How you prepare

A week before you get Botulina Toxin Type A injections, stop taking: aspirin, ibuprofen, Excedrin, Motrin, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, flax oil, cod liver oil, fish oil, vitamin A, vitamin E and other essential fatty acids. Also, avoid drinking alcohol a few days before your treatment.

What to expect

Treatment consists of several injections spread to multiple areas of the face. Where the injections are placed and how many are needed will depend on the patient’s wants or needs and may be different for each person.

The pain felt during injection is very minimal, it is comparable to the pain felt when getting acupuncture, and can be minimized with ice before and after the procedure.

Results

Results start to become apparent after 3-4 days, with the peak effect apparent after 10-14 days. However, some patients may notice a change as soon as 1-2 days after treatment. Results may also last 3 to 4 months.