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BOTOX® Injection or Dermal Fillers?

BOTOX® Injection or Dermal Fillers?

Every day, millions of patients receive a BOTOX® injection or dermal fillers. Patients hear these discussed in the media daily, but there are so many options, and with new ones coming to the market each year, the choice can become confusing. Patients often ask for a BOTOX® injection or dermal fillers when they usually need a combination of both.

BOTOX® is a neurotoxin which temporarily paralyzes the muscle that it is injected into. A BOTOX® injection acts by inhibiting muscular activity in the area of concern. By relaxing the muscle in the area, the folds or creases are no longer prominent and often disappear. BOTOX® injection charges are calculated by unit or by area. One area is usually around $300, and 1 unit is usually $9-16 dollars. If the surgeon is charging less than $9/ unit, ask him or her to mix it in your presence and make sure that at least two mL are used because they may be using a diluted product. If charges are by unit, then the number of units required will vary by gender (men usually require more), area, and degree of muscular activity in each area. There are 100 units of BOTOX® in one bottle. The forehead usually requires 30-50 units, the area between the eyebrows (glabellar region) usually requires 20-30 units, and the areas outside of the eyes (crow’s feet area or lateral orbital region) usually require 25-35 units of BOTOX® injection. There are other areas which can also be treated like the neck bands, around the mouth or the nasal area.

BOTOX® has other uses as well such as treating excessive underarm sweating or a spasm around the eye. Side effects and complications are very rare although it does take 5-7 days to paralyze the muscle.

Dermal fillers include an ever growing list of products. A few of the more popular choices are fat, Collagen (Zyderm, Cosmoderm), Radiesse®, Restylane®, and Juvéderm®. All dermal fillers have pros and cons and vary in composition and duration of effect, but all act to fill grooves or creases with volume rather than by acting on the underlying muscle. If you paralyze the muscle and fill the crease, you get more than a two-fold effect. There are at least twenty different kinds of fillers, so you should ask your plastic surgeon which one is best for you. Make sure you know which ones have been approved by the FDA and for what uses.  Complications are uncommon with dermal fillers although bruising that can last for days or even weeks occurs 15-40% of the time. Stopping any aspirin or Motrin for two weeks before receiving dermal fillers will help minimize this possibility. The injection can be done quickly in the office with a nerve block or no anesthetic. If topical anesthetic is used (to numb the skin) then it is necessary to wait for 20-30 minutes to allow this to work. The size of the needle and the pain threshold of the patient determine the best type of anesthetic.

The BOTOX® injection and dermal fillers are so popular because they are quick, effective, predictable, affordable and safe. Most patients are very happy with the results and this is the reason this area of Plastic Surgery continues to grow.

This article, printed in the El Paso Times, was written by Dr. Reynolds, who is the local Plastic Surgery expert for the newspaper.

Contact Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center of El Paso to find out if a BOTOX® injection is right for you.

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