Leading Boston Cosmetic Surgeon Warns Against Botox Parties

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Leading Boston Cosmetic Surgeon Warns Against Botox Parties


BOSTON, MA–March 1, 2003— Growing popularity in the use of Botulinum Toxin Type A, or as it’s more commonly referred to, Botox® (the product name used by its manufacturer, Allergan) has focused media attention on the field of cosmetic surgery. Many cosmetic surgeons have received favorable publicity for holding “Botox Parties”.

Dr. William P. Adams, M.D., F.A.C.S., a board certified, Boston area cosmetic surgeon and Director of The Adams Center, agrees that Botox® is a positive development for the field of cosmetic surgery. However, he recommends that people think twice before participating in group events involving Botox®.

First approved by the FDA in 1989 to treat blepharospasm (uncontrollable blinking) and strabismus (misaligned eyes), Botox® was approved on April 15, 2002 for cosmetic use. This approval confirmed earlier findings that the drug is safe. Currently, Botox® is most commonly used to diminish wrinkles on the forehead (frown lines), around eyes (laugh lines), lips and neck.

Botulinum Toxin Type A, a protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium Botulinum, is typically used by cosmetic surgeons in an injectable form. Botox® used in this manner is a sterile, purified form of the Botulinum Toxin.

The drug works by affecting the muscles under the “frown lines” by blocking the release of a chemical called “acetylcholine” which signals the muscle to contract. A small dose of Botox® is injected into a muscle causing a long lasting, but ultimately temporary, paralysis or weakness in the muscle. Patients typically see vast improvements when Botox® is used to fight wrinkles. In fact, wrinkles either disappear altogether, or are significantly minimized.

Frequently, the effects of Botox® last for about 4 months. However, each patient is different. In some cases the effect lasts as long as 8 months, while in others, the effect may last for less time. FDA guidelines allow for safe reapplication of Botox® every 3 months at the minimum dosage level.

According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), the use of Botox® is the fastest-growing cosmetic procedure in the U. S. In 2001, more than 1.6 million people were treated with the drug, a 46 percent jump from 2000. Botox® is an important tool in a cosmetic surgeon’s effort to combat the effects of aging.

However, as with all new procedures, there are still risks. One of those risks can be complacency. In the case of Botox®, that complacency is frequently seen in the form of “Botox Parties”.

Dr. Adams, who has been in practice for 25 years, disagrees with the practice of “Botox parties”, or any other social event surrounding the application of Botox®. “Frequently, Botox parties will include wine or other alcohol. I strongly believe that Botox injections should be performed in an appropriate setting. Alcohol and medical practices, surgical or non-surgical don’t mix under any circumstances”; says Adams.

Adams recommends that people interested in learning more about Botox contact an experienced, board certified cosmetic surgeon in their area. “As with all cosmetic procedures, surgical or non-surgical, it’s important that qualified personnel carry out the treatment. In the Case of Botox, a prescription only drug, an experienced physician should be the only one who handles the procedure.”

Adams states that, “while complications from Botox are rare, medical personnel and the necessary equipment to safely observe and handle potential issues should always be on hand and at their peak.”
Potential complications include the use of too much Botox® for a given area, or Botox® injected into the wro