francois j duminy
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon
CAPE TOWN PLASTIC SURGEON CV
Botulinum Toxin is produced by a micro-organism called Clostridium botulinum.
The organism is anaerobic, meaning that it only thrives when there is no Oxygen available.
The toxin interferes with the transfer of motor impulses from nerves into the muscle fibres that should contract when such an impulse stimulates them.
This makes it a very potent toxin or "poison" as large doses will interfere with vital functions like breathing and cardiac function.
The toxin has been purified and produced in such miniscule doses that it can be safely used to weaken small muscles.
It can also be used to modify the functions of glands such as sweat glands, apocrine & salivary glands.
Small muscle-like tissues in the walls of blood vessels can also be controlled, forming the basis for treatment of Migraines.
The best known of the botulinum toxin products is Botox® produced by Allergan.
This product has a proven safety record and it is the one we exclusively use in this practice.
What used to be a feared poison, has therefore become an extremely useful, widely and safely used product.
After injection of Botox®, it usually takes 2 days to start working and approximately 10 days to reach maximum efficacy.
The affected muscles initially remain weakened for about 3 months.
During the time of weakness, the muscle loses bulk (disuse atrophy), so, each time the Botox® is applied, the effect should last a little longer.
If the effect is not not really what one expected, or if it causes some discomfort (as the inability to raise one's eyebrows might), One can be assured that it will disappear in a few months.
As with any treatment, there can be undesirable side-effects, luckily, in trained hands these are rare.
The undesirable effects include:
Some of these problems can be corrected by experienced doctors by using additional Botox®