What is it?
Botulinum toxin injections (BTX), often referred to by the product names Botox® or Myobloc®, are biological toxins (botulinum toxin) transformed into a therapeutic agent. Work with BTX began in the late 1960s to treat neurological disorders. Today, BTX is a temporary solution for the treatment of frown lines, forehead furrows, "crow's feet," lines and wrinkles of the lower face, and even nasal muscles (to decrease nostril flaring).

Patients who show early signs of aging, as well as those who may not be suitable candidates for more extensive aesthetic facial surgery, may be good candidates for this procedure.

How does it work?
BTX injections have proven to be a very popular non-surgical cosmetic procedure. Aesthetic plastic surgeons have found that the type of lines and wrinkles that respond to BTX injections are those caused by the muscles-specifically those muscles that contract during facial expressions such as frowning or squinting.

The patient is asked to contract the muscles in the area being treated so the surgeon can determine the proper location for injection. In most cases, BTX is injected directly into the muscle with a tiny needle. It takes a few days to realize the effect of BTX injections.

What are the benefits?
Long experience has proven BTX to be safe. To date, no systemic complications associated with BTX injections have been documented. Treatment is reversible within several months. Studies have shown that it may even be beneficial for treatment of migraine headaches.

Where does it happen and how long does it take?
BTX injections are performed as an outpatient procedure that generally takes under an hour.

What is the recovery process like?
There's virtually no downtime. Patients can immediately resume normal activities. However, possible side effects include local numbness, swelling, bruising, or a burning sensation during injection. Some patients have reported temporary headache and nausea. Most complications are of short duration and can be avoided with proper injection techniques.

How long will the results last?
The effects last from 3-4 months and require repeat treatments.