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Botulinum Toxin (BOTOX, VISTABEL) is a medicine which temporarily paralyses the muscles into which it is injected. The benefit for plastic surgery is that many wrinkles of the face are caused by contraction of muscles and by using botulinum toxin we can stop these muscular contractions and cause the wrinkles to disappear. The muscle itself is paralysed by the botulism toxin, completely relaxing the muscle and the skin over it. The effect produced can last for a variable length of time but is usually for between 4-8 months.

Botulinum toxin is most successful in the forehead and around the eyes. It is a quick, painless procedure performed in the clinic for most patients. It involves a simple injection of the botulinum toxin into the muscle or muscles that are involved in the wrinkles, but does need to be done in a very precise way, so as not to produce any adverse effects. Adverse effects which people worry about are redness, haematoma/bleeding, or paralysis of muscles in an area which we do not wish to paralyse. Botulinum toxin can be a very effective adjunct to cosmetic surgery or used as the primary means of rejuvenating the face, especially with the beginning of some signs of facial aging. We have significant success with it in getting rid of frown lines in the forehead, deep furrows in the forehead, or crow's feet around the eyes.

After the use of Botulinum toxin, you can return to work immediately. The full effects of the injections are not seen for 2 or 3 days, but this usually results in significant improvement of facial wrinkles, laugh lines, etc. Injections can be used in the other areas of the face, such as around the mouth, but needs to be used in these areas only under very special circumstances, as it can limit the function of some of the muscles around the mouth. David Mowatt will be happy to talk about the benefits that you can achieve with Botulinum toxin injections, as well as any potential risks.

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