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Today the most commonly performed procedures in plastic surgery are injectables.  Injectables have become increasingly popular because they are not invasive, comfortably performed in the office, relatively inexpensive, and patients see immediate results.  Most injectables can be categorized as volume fillers or neurotoxins (muscle relaxants).  These products are often combined to obtain the best results.

There are many excellent manufacturers making very reliable fillers.  This has been wonderfull for the general consumer since the prices have remained very stable over the years.  Most fillers are used to increase fullness to the cheeks, laugh lines, corners of the mouth, lips, and angle of the jaw to hide the jowls.  On average, the effect of the fillers lasts from 6 to 12 months depending on the particular filler used.

Neurotoxins (muscle relaxants) are used to decrease the contraction of the muscles that produce wrinkles along the forehead, between the brows, and the crow’s feet.  When used correctly, neurotoxins can soften the appearance of wrinkles without a “frozen” look.  The effects of most neurotoxins last between 3 to 4 months.

Today there are several well studied and safe neurotoxins in the market.  The most well known is Botox®, but other popular neurotoxins include Dysport® and Xeomin®.  These products are purified protein toxins that are a non-surgical way to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Neurotoxins can be used to treat crow’s feet, forehead wrinkles, and frown lines, giving patients a rested and refreshed appearance. These treatments are simple and safe to perform in the office.  They work by temporarily blocking nerve signals and relaxing the surrounding muscles, thus smoothing out unwanted facial wrinkles.  The effects last from 3 to 4 months although many patients report that long term use prolongs the time between treatments.

As a group, neurotoxins are the most common non-invasive cosmetic procedure performed in the world today.  The treatment can be performed in a few minutes in an office setting and temporarily relaxes the small muscles that cause frown lines, crow’s feet and other facial wrinkles thus smoothing and softening the effects of repeated facial expressions.  Within 3 days of your initial treatment, you will see noticeable results.  These treatments should only be performed by licensed health care providers.  Beware of non-licensed practitioners selling you treatments in a hair salon or so called “Botox parties”.  Often these treatments are not effective, approved products may not be used, are not sanitary, and can lead to serious injury.

Condition Treated – Hyperactive forehead and frown lines, Crow’s feet

  • Results – Results seen after 3 days, immobility of muscles that cause wrinkles, smoothing of skin and elimination of wrinkles for up to 4 months.
  • Treatment Time – up to 30 minutes
  • Recovery – No significant down time, mild swelling for the first few hours
  • Recommended treatment schedule – Every 3 to 4 months depending on desired results, can be repeated multiple times

Dermal Fillers help build up deeper layers of the skin that have lost underlying support and fullness.  Unfortunately as we age, we lose collagen and fat in the deep layers of the skin resulting in wrinkles, deep folds, and loose skin.  Dermal Fillers vary in composition from the most popular Hyaluronic Acids (Restylane® and Juvederm®) to Calcium Hydroxylapatite (Radiesse®).  There are many other types of fillers and brands and even some fillers that are considered semi permanent.  Performed by an experienced plastic surgeon with correct goals in mind, fillers can safely produce a more youthful and natural appearance without surgery.  They are commonly used in the cheeks, lips, eyes, crow’s feet, and nasal creases.  Most fillers are temporary and last anywhere between 6 to 12 months on average.  Beware of anyone promising dermal fillers that are permanent.  Often these fillers are composed of silicone or silicone derivatives and can cause catastrophic and permanent injury to the facial tissue.  Also, dermal fillers should only be injected by an experienced reputable and licensed physician, or a physician assistant under the direct supervision of a physician.  Avoid the “back room” of a beauty salon or an “injection party”.  Often the products are not FDA approved, sterile technique is not used, and the injector is not a licensed physician.

American Society of Plastic Surgeons