Non-Surgery (BTA)

Botulinum toxin type A, BTA, is a purified and sterilized extract from bacteria. Doctors have used BTA for years to treat various medical conditions, especially around the eyes. Another exciting use for BTA is for the improvement in overactive facial muscle contraction. Over time, these active muscles will result in unsightly lines on the face. For example, scowl lines, frown lines, and crow’s feet are some of the most concerning lines for both men and women. These lines or furrows will continue to deepen and worsen with aging.

BTA works by temporarily making these facial muscles unable to contract. Therefore, they are not able to cause deep furrows. BTA is injected into the area of the muscles and takes about two to five days to take effect on the muscle area. Over the following days to weeks, the lines will fade away. The timing to see results varies with the severity of the lines and furrows. They can be quite dramatic and the effects usually last 4 to 6 months.

No matter how well the skin is preserved and pampered, everyone eventually develops facial wrinkles. Fortunately, there are a number of options available to remove the lines that accompany aging. BTA is perhaps the easiest of all these options. BTA is an extremely quick approach to softening or removing the natural wrinkles between the eyes (frown lines), on the forehead, at the sides of the eyes (crow’s feet), or at the base of the nose (glabellar frown lines).

Each day, the muscles between the eyes (frown lines) and on the outside of the eyes (crow’s feet) contract many times. Over time, these muscle contractions create “creases” or wrinkles in the skin. To remove these wrinkles, BTA is injected through a very small needle into the muscles that cause these contractions. BTA essentially impedes the nerve impulse from reaching these muscles. Gradually, the muscles relax and the facial wrinkles soften or disappear. Patients may experience slight discomfort when the needle is inserted and the BTA injected, but this only lasts approximately five to seven seconds. The entire BTA treatment is performed in the physician’s office and lasts 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Discuss any concerns with the doctor before the procedure. List all medical conditions you have and any medications you are currently taking, in particular if you are taking an anti-inflammatory like aspirin as this can lead to increased bruising. Be sure to discuss any food, drug, or other allergies.
  • Patients who are pregnant, breastfeeding or who have a neurological disease should not use BTA.

The BTA Procedure:

For any BTA procedure, your doctor might have you apply ice to the area a few minutes before treatment. This is for two reasons: it causes the vessels in the skin to constrict which helps reduce bruising, and it helps decrease the small amount of pain associated with multiple injections. Ice can be beneficial for the same reasons after the BTA treatment.

Once seated upright, the doctor will have you contract the muscle in the area being treated so that he or she can better target the injection into the muscle. Thus, if you’re receiving injections for wrinkles between the eyes, you will be asked to frown.

On average, you’ll receive three injections per muscle (depending on the area being treated, more or less injections may be needed). With each injection you will feel a needle prick, then a mild stinging or burning for a few seconds as the toxin flows in to the muscle. Again, depending on the area being treated, you may be asked to gently press a gauze pad against the injection site and/or hold to it for a few minutes.

The whole process takes about ten minutes to half an hour, depending on the number of areas being treated. As soon as the series of injections is completed, you can go back to your regular activities. As stated above, the doctor will probably ask you to refrain from bending or laying down for approximately four hours after the injections until the toxin has had time to attach to the nerve-muscle connection. You will be asked not to rub the area in order to prevent the toxin from spreading to adjacent muscles.

Surgery Length1 hour.
Side Effects
Recovery PeriodDon’t need to rest.
Stay in Hospital
Stay in Thailand
  • The doctor will ask you to hold an Ice pack to the treated area for a few minutes after the treatment. This helps minimize bruising and discomfort resulting from the injections. It will also help keep the BTA within in the injected areas. BTA usually takes two to four days or even a week to have its full effect. You might be asked to return after two weeks so that your doctor can evaluate the results of the treatment, although you probably will not need to see the doctor until it is time for your next injection. If you feel the BTA has not worked sufficiently, if you notice unevenness of eyebrows or other areas, or if your eyebrow is drooping, call your doctor and request a follow up appointment.