No forehead paralysis seen after microdroplet technique
AT THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF COSMETIC SURGERY
Major Finding: Patients who underwent the microdroplet botulinum toxin forehead lift experienced no cases of treatment-induced upper eyelid or eyebrow ptosis or cases of diplopia.
Data Source: A 5-year study of the technique performed on 574 consecutive patients with a mean age of 45 years.
Disclosures: Dr. Steinsapir received a United States patent on the microdroplet method. He said that he hopes to license the technique to a drug company for the development of an FDA-approved indication so the treatment can be directly marketed to consumers. He had no other relevant financial conflicts to disclose.
LAS VEGAS – A technique that involves injecting tiny, closely placed amounts of botulinum toxin A to balance the actions of the muscles around the eyebrows yielded natural-looking outcomes without forehead paralysis, based on data from a 5-year study.
"Doctors have mistakenly adopted maximal forehead paralysis as a desirable treatment endpoint," Dr. Kenneth D. Steinsapir said at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery. "Forehead paralysis as a result of cosmetic botulinum toxin is feared by the public and lampooned by the media."
Courtesy Dr. Kenneth D. Steinsapir
Over the years, onabotulinumtoxinA treatments have evolved to create maximal frontalis brow lifts while minimizing the risk of eyelid ptosis. As a result, "the forehead is smooth, but the central forehead is also ptotic," said Dr. Steinsapir of the department of ophthalmology at the University of California, Los Angeles. "There can be recruitment lines on the side of the forehead, which can make for an undesirable treatment effect."
In 2006, Dr. Steinsapir first described the microdroplet botulinum toxin forehead lift, a technique he developed for treating eyebrow depressors that leaves the brow elevator untreated. "I hypothesized that very small quantities of botulinum toxic can be injected and effectively trapped between the skin and the underlying orbicularis oculi muscle in the brow, and in the crow’s feet area as well," said Dr. Steinsapir, who also maintains a private cosmetic surgery practice in Beverly Hills, Calif. "This weakens the eyebrow depressors, allowing the frontalis muscle to lift unopposed, lifting the brows. Forehead movement is preserved and unwanted diffusion responsible for eyelid ptosis is prevented."
Between August 2006 and July 2011, Dr. Steinsapir performed 574 consecutive microdroplet botulinum toxin forehead lift treatments on 175 women and 53 men with a mean age of 45 years. A typical treatment involves 10 mcL of injectable saline containing 0.33 U of botulinum toxin A using the product formulation of Botox or Xeomin. About 100 microinjections are needed to complete the pattern, and all patients in the study received 33 units of Botox exclusively.