How to avoid a droopy eyelid after frown anti-wrinkle injections

Article Medically reviewed by Dr. Gavin Chan (MBBS, cosmetic physician, liposuctionist)

Dr. Gavin Chan

Templestowe Lower and Berwick Clinics

Dr. Gavin Chan has a background in intensive care, anaesthesia, and emergency medicine. Since 2004, Dr. Chan has provided cosmetic procedures, including anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, liposuction, fat transfer, skin needling, and laser treatments. He is a doctor trainer for various dermal fillers and anti-wrinkle injections.
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If you’ve got a frown line that is bothering you, chances are you’re thinking about getting anti-wrinkle injections. As the best non-surgical choice for smoothing out upper, middle and lower face wrinkles and fine lines, anti-wrinkle injections can relax the muscles that are causing your dynamic lines while reducing your permanent static lines. Before you book your anti-wrinkle injection consultation in, it’s essential to understand that uncommon complications can occur from frown anti-wrinkle injections

Dr Gavin Chan (MBBS, Cosmetic Physician, Liposuctionist) explains, “Frown anti-wrinkle injections are the most popular cosmetic procedure in the world, but with them comes the most dreaded but not common complication of a droopy eyelid.” This uncommon complication from a common and seemingly easy procedure is where a patient can experience one of their eyelids drooping a week or so after the anti-wrinkle treatment. In the unlikely incidence that this occurs, the eyelid will remain like that for three months or whenever the injection wears off. You don’t need to be put off having anti-wrinkle injections frown treatment though. Dr Gavin Chan has tips and techniques on how to avoid droopy eyelid when having the world’s most popular anti-wrinkle procedure.

What is anti-wrinkle frown treatment?

Anti-wrinkle injections are made from natural, purified proteins, which are based on an inhibitor that blocks the nerves, which cause your facial muscles to contract. This stops your nerve fibres from firing (1.12) and activating the muscle. When anti-wrinkle injections are used in facial muscles that are causing wrinkles, they relax and create a smoother, fresher and younger looking appearance. Due to TGA restrictions, we can’t reveal the name of these injections.

During anti-wrinkle frown treatment, about five injections are used in your frown muscles. The onset of action is anywhere from four to seven days and will depend on which type of anti-wrinkle injection is used. The longevity of anti-wrinkle injections varies with patients – they can last from two to four or five months.

A big reason why anti-wrinkle injections have become so popular is that there are no permanent side effects from anti-wrinkle injections. Over time, the positive and negative effects will wear off. But three or four months of having one eyelid drooping down is a long time to wait, mainly because your eyes are one of the first things people notice about you.

How to minimise risks of eyelid droop after anti-wrinkle frown treatment

Dr Gavin Chan notes that because no one is immune to a droopy eyelid after anti-wrinkle treatment, it’s vital that any risk of it occurring is minimised. Since 2005 he’s researched the best ways to reduce the risk of a patient having a droopy eyelid after anti-wrinkle frown treatment.

Droopy eyelids occur as a result of the anti-wrinkle injection trickling down from the levator palpebrae superioris, a muscle that elevates your eyelid. When this happens, your eye won’t be able to close because the muscle isn’t able to elevate fully, creating a droopy eyelid (also called ptosis). It’s estimated that the incidence of droopy eyelids from anti-wrinkle injections is around 3%. This makes it very important to be informed about all the risks. Dr Gavin Chan notes there are steps patients and Cosmetic Doctors and Cosmetic Nurses can take to minimise the risk of ptosis.

Patient factors to minimising the risk of ptosis

Anti-wrinkle injections can move if the treatment area is rubbed intentionally or accidentally. Taking extra care to be gentle when you’re washing your face or removing makeup after your anti-wrinkle frown treatment may prevent this from happening. While avoiding lying down flat for up to 4 hours after your anti-wrinkle injections haven’t been proved as a way to minimise the risk of ptosis, it may be helpful. Dr Gavin Chan also suggests that you don’t undertake vigorous exercise directly after your treatment. This includes jumping up and down as this may increase the rate and degree of anti-wrinkle injection diffusion.

Practitioner factors to minimise the risk of ptosis

According to Dr Gavin Chan, one of the most important things practitioners can do is to, “inject the lateral tail of the corrugator which is the muscle which causes the bunching (6.35) of the frown. Superficially injecting the lateral tail of the frown (corrugator) muscle can help avoid ptosis”. He notes that it’s essential to avoid injecting deeply in this area of the face because there are a lot of structures where the anti-wrinkle injections can pass through. These include the supraorbital foramen (hole), a small groove at the superior and medial margin of the orbit in the frontal bone.

injecting lateral tail of the corrugator

When you get this area of your face treated with anti-wrinkle injections, and they’re superficial, you’ll feel a slight sting. This is a good sign that your practitioner knows what they’re doing.

Another thing a practitioner can do to avoid eyelid droop is to give a fewer number of injections. Rather than doing five frown injections, Dr Gavin Chan notes that avoiding injections in the lateral tail of the corrugator can reduce the likelihood of droopy eyelid occurring. He adds that reducing the dosage of anti-wrinkle injection is another method that reduces the risk of eyelid droop occurring. While adding saline dilutes some doses, it’s the dose that’s important. It’s important to note that reducing the dose means the effect of the anti-wrinkle injection and length of time it lasts will be reduced.

If you’re concerned about the possibility of getting a droopy eyelid after your frown treatment, we suggest that you attend a reputable medical clinic with highly trained and experienced Cosmetic Doctors and Cosmetic Nurses. When you base your choice of the clinic on price alone, it’s essential to ask whether the practitioner is aware of how to minimise the risk of ptosis after anti-wrinkle injection treatment.

The best Melbourne anti-wrinkle injection practitioners

Since 2005 Dr Gavin Chan and his team of highly trained and experienced Cosmetic Doctors and Cosmetic Nurses have been successfully treating patients with anti-wrinkle injections. Having anti-wrinkle treatments at a reputable medical clinic that focuses on preventing any possible complications with anti-wrinkle ensures you will get the best results. By using advanced injection techniques and keeping up to date with the latest research, our Cosmetic Doctors and Cosmetic Nurses can create natural-looking, subtle changes to your face. Our careful and considered approach to anti-wrinkle injections ensures you’ll look younger, rested and refreshed. View our before and after anti-wrinkle patient gallery. Book your anti-wrinkle consultation and call our helpful and friendly customer service team on 1300 863 824 or book online.

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Dr. Gavin Chan
Dr. Gavin Chan

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