As the baby boom generation ages and looks for ways to look younger, the field of cosmetic surgery has responded by developing options for restoring healthy skin that are less invasive and less risky than surgery. Botox and similar injectable preparations have become quite popular among those seeking a fountain of youth.
Several different botulinum toxin preparations have been developed and are currently on the market. One of the most popular of these is Allergan botox. There are certain things that health care professionals need to be familiar with and certain training that a practitioner needs to go through before being licensed to provide it. Here are some of the things a practitioner needs to know before administering botox.
Facial anatomy and aesthetics
Allergan botox is injected into the muscles just under the skin for facial aesthetic reasons. Allergan botox can promote muscle relaxation and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. There have been 43 distinct muscles identified in the face, many of them very small, plus nerves and blood vessels, making the anatomy of the face quite complex. Understanding the structure of the face is critical to administering botox accurately for the best results.
Other Uses for Botox and Relevant Anatomy
Allergan isn’t just for facial aesthetics, however. It also has a number of other uses, including:
- Strabismus – lack of coordination in eye muscles,
- Blepharospasm – uncontrollable blinking,
- Hyperhidrosis – excessive sweating,
- Urinary incontinence and overactive bladder,
- Muscle spasms – particularly in the hands,
- Cervical Dystonia – muscle spasms in the neck,
- Chronic migraines, specifically patients with at least 15 headache days per month,
- Much more, new uses are being discovered all the time.
In order to properly administer botox for these purposes, it is important to understand the anatomy of these areas as well. Training should always make it clear what use of Allergan botox is being discussed so that the appropriate anatomy can be discussed. Because new indications and uses for Botox are frequently being discovered, new uses and relevant anatomy should be discussed during the training as well.
Benefits, Risks and Contraindications
Any kind of medical treatment carries some risks, and Allergan is no exception. A good training course should cover not only the potential benefits, but the also the potential side effects and risks involved as well as contraindications of treatment. Botox is not safe for all patients. Some people who should not receive Botox include those who have ever had an allergic reaction to any other botulinum toxin product and those with certain muscle or nerve conditions. Patients with breathing problems may be able to receive botox, but will require extra monitoring after the procedure. Patients should inform their doctor of all medical conditions and medications, including any prior surgeries on the face and any plans to have surgery in the near future. Additional precautions or monitoring may be necessary.
The most common side effects are temporary and include redness or swelling at the injection site. Allergan botox is generally safe, but does come with some risks that practitioners and patients should be aware of. This risks include:
- Problems with talking, swallowing or even breathing, or
- Effects of the toxin spreading, leading to generalized muscle weakness, blurred or double vision, hoarseness or loss of voice,
- Loss of bladder control or inability to empty the bladder, especially in those who receive botox for bladder issues,
- Problems with the cornea or bleeding behind the eye in those who receive botox to correct problems with eye muscles
A good training program doesn’t stop at explaining the risks. It should also include detailed information on how to manage any complications that may occur.
There are guidelines and regulations that govern any procedure done by healthcare professionals. State laws vary on who is allowed to administer botox.
Allergan’s uses are a little broader than some of the other botox preparations and training needs to be tailored to ensure its specific uses, along with benefits, risks and protocols are covered.