Botulinum Toxin: Cost, Risks, Recovery

Overview

Botulinum toxin, also known as botulinum toxin type A, is an injectable agent used to temporarily diminish or eliminate lines and wrinkles on the face by relaxing underlying facial muscles. It is a purified substance that’s derived from bacteria to block the nerve signals to the muscle. Without a signal, the muscle is not able to contract. The most commonly known types of botulinum toxin type A injections include Botox®, Dysport® and Xeomin®.

In the United States, over 7 million procedures of botulinum toxin injections are performed every year, making it the most common anti-aging treatment.

Candidates

For people who want effective treatment for facial lines and wrinkles caused by aging or other factors, botulinum toxin injection is a good choice.

Cost

The cost of botulinum toxin may vary depending on the area of the country where you receive surgery, the experience of the surgeon you choose. The national average cost for a botulinum toxin injection is around $375.

Botulinum toxin injections are typically priced at a flat rate or per unit cost, which typically range from $10 to $15, and most treatments will require 20-35 units.

Risks

Before you decide to start a botulinum toxin treatment, you need to understand the possible risks and complications of the surgery. These risks include:

  • Mild numbness or tingling in the injection area
  • Allergic reaction
  • Swelling and pain
  • Bruising
  • Redness
  • Temporary headache or nausea
  • Drooping eyebrow or eyelid
  • Flu-like symptoms

If proper injection techniques are used, many of these side effects can be avoided, and the patient should avoid rubbing the injection area for approximately 12 hours after treatment.

Preparation

In your visit, your surgeon will ask about your medical history, allergies and expectations for the procedure to decide whether you are a good candidate for the surgery. He or she will also ask you to:

  • Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, and vitamin E prior to treatment as they may increase bruising
  • Avoid vigorous exercise for at least a day or two before your procedure
  • Stop drinking any alcohol for at least a few days before your injections

Surgical steps

Usually, a botulinum toxin injection takes no longer than 15 minutes. The injections can be completed on the same day as the initial evaluation. Once you and your surgeon have decided on an appropriate treatment, he or she will prepare the medication for the procedure.

Prior to injection, anesthesia is usually not required. The surgeon will cleanse the injection site and use very short and thin needles to complete the surgery. Depending on your specific concerns and condition, a number of injections will be needed to achieve the desired result.

Recovery

A botulinum toxin injection is a non-invasive procedure, and there is virtually no recovery time necessary. Although you may experience minor swelling, pain and/or bruising after the procedure, they will recede soon, and you can resume your normal activities immediately after treatment.

However, you should pay attention to these things for the best results:

  • Avoid massaging or touching the injected area afterwards, which may inadvertently cause the botulinum toxin to spread to an unintended area
  • Avoid lying down or inverting the body shortly after injection because they may cause complications
  • Avoid strenuous or vigorous activities for the rest of the day
  • Ask or call the office before taking painkillers or medication

You may notice results within a few days, but it can take up to a week to see the full effect. Typically, the results last about three to four months.


Keywords: botulinum toxin.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.