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The fear of the unknown can often be a major hurdle in trying out something new, so this section will describe what to expect with this type of treatment.
First of all, we will take it as a given that you have chosen a reputable and proficient medical practitioner to perform your treatment and that you have been through a detailed consultation and medical history as well as a full consent process. It is our practice to allow people time to think about things in detail and have a ‘cooling-off’ period after the consultation and the treatment, but some people are really keen and have already thought long and hard so wish to crack on.
You should never feel pressured into agreeing to a treatment that you are not 100% happy to go through with, so if you need the time then do take it.
When you are ready to go ahead you are normally sat in a comfortable couch or treatment chair, (this really should be in a clinical room as this is a medical procedure after all!). It is quite likely that your practitioner will want to take clinical photographs of you beforehand for comparison later. The area to be treated will need to be cleaned and prepared and then ‘marked out’ with a make-up pencil. This is when the doctor or nurse examines you to find out the exact points needed to inject. They will likely ask you to pull various expressions to highlight where the muscles are. This is slightly different for everyone – there is no one size fits all.
Once everything has been marked out it’s time to inject! There really is no need to ‘numb’ the area with creams nowadays since we have access to such tiny needles and most people cope with the small pinpricks very well. A tiny amount of the toxin is injected at each site and before you know it the whole thing is finished. The pencil marks will be cleaned away and your practitioner should then take you again through the aftercare advice. Hopefully, there should be access to written information too as it is easy to forget what is said in a treatment room.
The last stage is booking a follow-up review after a couple of weeks to check that everything has settled nicely and that nothing needs tweaking. The treatment itself will start to kick in after 3 or 4 days and get to its maximum effect after 2 to 3 weeks.
Doesn’t sound that scary after all, does it?!
Written by Dr James Dean