Facial plastics surgeon Charles Woodard, MD instructs his residents on the principles of facial analysis. He then demonstrates the proper technique for administration of Botox during an injection workshop. While typically associated with facial wrinkles, Botox may also be used to help treat blepharospasm as well as migraine headaches.
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- Facial Analysis
We’re going to talk a little bit about facial analysis and how we determine where we put product, when we're doing treatment for botox for dynamic rhytid to the face. So when you're analyzing a patient the first thing you want to do is a full facial analysis. After you identify the problems that they are concerned about, you want to make sure that you can offer an appropriate correction for those issues. So as we look at Helen here and try to identify a couple of things that we could potentially improve upon with a neuromodulator, such as Botox, we wanted to try to identify a couple of different physical exam findings. So just ask her to elevator her brow. So recall that the elevation of the brow is primarily by the frontalis, and it's the only muscle that allows appropriate brow elevation. So if a patient comes in, particularly an older patient complaining of horizontal rhytids in their face, one of the things you have to discuss with them is their expectation of a smooth forehead.
Remember neuromodulators are used primarily to treat dynamic rhytids of the face. If somebody has rhytids at rest, it's unlikely that neuromodulator alone is going to be able to appropriately treat those areas, so you have to manage their expectation accordingly. Also in an older individual what you have to worry about with treatment, aggressive treatment of neuromodulator in the upper face is the potential risk for brow ptosis, so you could potentially drop the brow as a result of placing too much product in the upper face, in an attempt to treat their primary complaint. As we move toward the midline of the face, let's ask Helen to just furrow her brow.
Okay so you can see that she's got probably perhaps a little more activity in her procerus region. The procerus is the muscle that's going to create the horizontal rhytids in along the upper third of the nose. And then also in many key patients you will see them complain of something called “the elevens,” which are the vertical rhytids that exist along the medial aspect of the brow that are caused by the corrugator muscle. So typical Botox treatment will focus in this area, and in fact that was the first FDA-approved use of this for cosmetic use.
Squint your eyes like it's bright outside.So she's got fairly significant crow's feet, and those are the extended rhytids along the lateral aspect of the orbital region caused by contraction of the orbicularis oris muscle, excuse me, the orbicularis oculi muscle. And so treatment of these areas around the lateral aspect of her brow will produce something called the botox brow lift. Essentially if you think about the seesaw effect of the elevation of the brow with the frontalis and the depression of the brow with the lateral aspect of the orbicularis if we are treating and knocking out the depressor function along the lateral aspect of the brow, we're going to have corresponding elevation of the tail of the brow.
In a female the peak of the brow is ideally located at the lateral aspect of the limbus or the lateral aspect of the canthus. So if we can get a touch of elevation of the brow, not only are we placing it in an ideal position, but you'll also notice that we're also relieving some of the excess skin along the upper aspect of the eyelids. So you really are treating two issues: You’re placing the brow in the appropriate position and you're also relieving some of the excess skin of the upper eyelid. So for Helen, I would recommend a treatment along the lateral aspect of the orbit. A light treatment in the glabellar region focused on the procerus, and then a small amount of product in the forehead to reduce the risk of dropping the brow.
So I've mixed the product up. What we're currently using today is Botox, and what I’ve placed this in is a 1 cc sealer luer lock TB syringe. The product comes freeze-dried, and you have to provide your own dilution. The typical dilution for these products in Botox would be 5 units per 0.1 mLs. So I had a 50-unit vial, and I used one cc of sodium chloride to dilute the product. So we have five units of the Botox per 0.1 mLs.
So now I'm going to get a couple of alcohol swabs and just clean off the areas that we’re looking at injecting. So again the glabellar region, the lateral orbicularis region, and then the forehead region. When you talk to patients about their expectations, another important thing to point out is when is the onset of action of this product. And in general I tell folks that you're going to start to see some activity around day 3, day 4, but you're not going to have full correction until a week after administration of the product. So you can reassure them that while they may see a few changes in the first couple of days, it's not going to be the final result.
So typical treatments in the glabellar region, we’re probably going to not need as high a concentration for her, because we didn't have a whole lot of corrugator activity, would be approximately 20 to 25 units. I tend to inject those in 5 unit aliquots in the central region of the face. And so what I’ll tend to do is just pinch the brow in this region and remind the patient that they need to breathe and then a small stick here. As close to possible, you want to put the product in at around 90°. You don't want to come in at a tangential angle, because you're trying to place this product directly in the muscle you're trying to affect.
So we’ll do some symmetric injections of product in this region, and what I'm going to do, is I'm going to treat each of the corrugators with 5 units of Botox. And then I'm going to put 5 units of Botox in the procerus region, because I think her procerus activity was a little higher, and again we didn't see as much activity in her corrugator region.
You okay? Alright, So I’ll do pressure there for just a second. Let her catch her breath, and then we'll treat in the lateral orbicularis oculi region. I tend to do injections in 2.5 unit aliquots on the lateral aspect of the orbit. It’s important to remind you that if you are in the orbital skin that the skin deep - deep to the skin you're going to find the muscle. There's not subcutaneous tissue there, so you're going to raise akin to what you would for a TB test. So you're going to want to try to stay very superficial in the skin when you're addressing the area over here.
Push your head against my hand a little bit. Good. So that just creates a little bit of tension. And I’m putting in just 2.5 unit aliquots in this area here. Good. You okay? Yeah. Alright we’re going to come to the other side. Rinse and repeat. You need a break or you doing alright? No, I’m fine. Okay. Again a little elevation of the brow, head against my hand just a touch, but I'll point out also in this region is that you have branches of the zygomatic facial vein or the sentinel vein that can come down and be fairly superficial. So you want to be mindful of that so you reduce the risk of bruising in that area. Okay, I’ll hold her pressure on this side. Good. And then just a touch in her forehead, and what we're doing that for is to counteract. We've taken away a lot of depressor function so the frontalis is potentially going to be overactive and potentially peek her up a bit, so we're just going to relieve that by putting a small amount in her forehead. And I think it would be adequate to put five units on each side, and we’ll be done.
And I’ll do that in two injections of 2.5 units each. You’ll notice that I’ll use my contralateral hand to steady the injection site, and watch out for any underlying veins. Alright, that's pretty much it, and so now we’ll have the patient ice. And that was a total of 40 units we used for her, which I think is appropriate. Since we reduce the amount of product that we put in the glabellar region relative to our typical patient, who would be perhaps a little bit older prior to this injection, and that should do it. Thanks.
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