Botox and Medical Malpractice

By: Botox Patient - In: Allergan|Botox Cosmetic|Botox Patient

16 Nov 2010

Contrary to popular belief, very few medical malpractice cases involve doctors and Botox cosmetic.

The prevailing idea is similar to what a respected icon in the makeup industry opines: Women should be afraid of Botox. Her reason: because it involves injecting poison into your skin.

I’d be rich if I got a penny for every single time I’ve read and heard this statement. Here’s the important truth that you, our dear reader, should remember. Botox cosmetic, administered in the proper dosages by an experienced injector, is safe.

Firstly, Botox is not injected to the skin but into the muscle underneath. Its purpose is to calm the muscle, giving the skin a break from repetitive creasing which, in the long run, allows it to return to its taut state. When the skin is allowed to smoothen out and tighten up, your wrinkles become less visible and eventually disappear.

Secondly, Botox is not scary. In fact, even the FDA acknowledges that most common side effects associated with the drug’s cosmetic use is ptosis or drooping of the eyelid.

Yes, there have been several reports linking Botox to paralysis and death but those instances are not from the cosmetic use of the drug.

The FDA’s Postmarket Drug Safety Information has the following information:

Adverse effects for pediatric cases are reported to come from treatments of muscle spasticity in cerebral palsy.

For adult cases, migration or distant spread of toxin effects are reported to come from treatment of spasticity and cervical dystonia. The report also stated that the several deaths connected with the use of the drug cannot be attributable to the toxin itself but to complications of pre-existing conditions.

With regard to the cosmetic use of the toxin, the FDA categorically stated, and I quote, “…there have been reports where some symptoms could be consistent with distant spread of toxin effect following dermatologic use.  However, no definitive serious adverse event reports of distant spread of toxin effect associated with dermatologic use of Botox at the labeled dose of 20 Units (for glabellar lines) or 100 Units (for severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis) have been identified”.

Even with this current track record, doctors are careful with injecting the toxin to the lower part of the face to treat smile or marionette lines. There’s a world of difference between causing droopy eyelids and paralysing somebody’s lips disabling them from speaking. The first only pertains to appearance, the other can affect one’s life and work. Doctors know this so, some of them refrain from performing these treatments. In any case, the effects of Botox cosmetic, both the good and the bad, are only temporary. As such, things return to the way they were after a period of time.

We don’t have any legal authority to say that a malpractice case becomes moot after things return to normal. But at the very least, people should consider the fact that there are few medical malpractice cases involving Botox as a sort of reassurance. Doctors take care of their patients and their reputations and would not intentionally cause harm to clients. Add this to the fact that the drug itself is safe, and you end up with something that should not be feared.

1 Response to Botox and Medical Malpractice


Dr D

November 16th, 2010 at 10:50 am

We haven’t seen any such cases. I think when the product injected is not what has been promised, these cases are easiest to prove.

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