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ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BOTOX

What is botox?
Botox is a drug made from a toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum.

How does it work?
Acetylcholine is released from nerve endings and causes muscles to contract. Botox binds to nerve endings preventing the release of acetylcholine and therefore preventing muscle contraction.

How is it used?
Botox is used to treat numerous medical problems. It is most commonly known for treatment of facial wrinkles and, in fact, is the most common cosmetic procedure in the world. It also can be used to treat parotid gland hypertrophy, profuse sweating of the underarms, hand and feet, and for the treatment of migraines.

For facial wrinkles, where is it commonly used?
Common areas for injection for improvement of facial wrinkles include the frown lines of the glabella (vertical lines between the brows), forehead wrinkles, smile lines, crow’s feet, bunny lines, elevating the corners of the mouth, dimpled chin, and for the platysmal bands of the neck.

Does the injection hurt?
A very fine needle is used to induce the least amount of discomfort. Some patients prefer a lidocaine cream applied to the area to be injected to temporarily numb the skin. Some patients tolerate the injection with little discomfort without the lidocaine cream.

How long does it take the botox to take effect?
Results are typically apparent after 2-3 days.

How long does botox last?
Each patient is different in terms of response, the average length of time of effectiveness is 3-4 months.

Are there any side effects and any limitations after injection?

  • Some patients may experience a headache following injection. This typically subsides without treatment.
  • Occasionally injections are not symmetric which may result in asymmetry. These asymmetries may be remedied with a small “touch up” injection.
  • Overtreatment of the forehead may result in a drooping brow. After the botox “wears off,” the brow position will return to normal.
  • Upper eyelid droop may occur if injections on the brow are too low. This can be treated with eye drops prescribed by your physician that counteract the effects of botox.
  • Limitations following treatment will vary from physician to physician. Some recommend no exercise the day of injection, others recommend no lying down for 4 hours after treatment, and some do not restrict their patients.

How can I learn more?
Call Mountain Brook Plastic Surgery (205) 871-4440 for consultation!

What is a tummy tuck? – Dr. Brad Denney

A “tummy tuck” is a cosmetic surgery that involves rejuvenation of the abdomen and flanks. Your plastic surgeon may also refer to this procedure as an abdominoplasty. There are three major components of a tummy tuck – management of excess skin, contouring of excess fat, and tightening of the abdominal muscles.

Multiple terms are used to describe tummy tucks, such as “mini” or “full” abdominoplasty. This refers to the degree of excess skin and fat that exists, and therefore the length of the incision needed to accomplish abdominal rejuvenation. If there is a small amount of excess skin and fat below the belly button, a “mini” abdominoplasty may be performed. The incision is made in the middle third of the abdomen along the bikini line. A “full” abdominoplasty, on the other hand, deals with moderate to larger amounts of excess skin and fat above and below the umbilicus, and therefore requires a longer incision, typically the entire length of the bikini line and around the belly button itself.

Patients who typically benefit from a tummy tuck include those who want improvement in their abdominal contour and waistline and want to fit better in clothing. Patients typically notice changes in their abdominal contour after pregnancy that cannot be improved with exercise alone. This is usually due to rectus diastasis, or widening of the abdominal muscles, due to the pressure on the abdominal wall in pregnancy.

The surgery itself takes about 3 hours and most patients are able to go home the same day. Most surgeons will leave a drain under the skin that will be removed by your surgeon after a few days. Many patients will feel the need to walk “hunched” over for a few days due to the tightening of the abdomen. Liposuction is often utilized as part of the tummy tuck procedure, especially along the flanks. It is expected to have bruising and swelling in the areas of liposuction for several weeks after surgery. Typically, a tummy tuck scar is hidden in the bikini line. Most surgical incisions will fully heal in 6-8 weeks.

The most serious possible complication to be aware of with this procedure is a DVT, or a blood clot in the legs, or rarely a PTE (blood clot in the lungs). In the lungs, blood clots can potentially be fatal. Therefore, all surgeons will stress early post-operative ambulation to prevent the development of blood clots.

For more information and to schedule a consultation, please call our office at (205) 871-4440.