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Botox and Dysport: Understanding Facial Muscle Anatomy

Posted December 30, 2010 in Botox and Dysport, Face

In order to understand what to expect from Botox or Dyport treatment, a basic knowledge of muscle anatomy really helps.  Look at the diagram below:

Anatomy diagram:

A. Frontalis muscle: contraction raises the eyebrows and causes horizontal brow wrinkles.  Injection of Botox or Dysport will reduce the wrinkles but—depending on the dose and exact locations of the injections—may weaken the brow enough to cause annoyance when putting on eye makeup.

B. Corrugator muscle: contraction moves the inner eyebrows down and in, causing vertical lines between the eyes (the so-called 11’s).  Injection will reduce the wrinkles and may raise the inner aspect of the brows.
C. Orbicularlis oculi muscle: contraction causes squinting, which moves the outer eyebrows down, creating crows’ feet wrinkles.  Injection with Botox or Dysport will reduce the wrinkles and may raise the outer aspect of the brows.

The point is that these muscles create balanced forces, which determine the shape or your eyebrows.  Botox and Dysport injections can selectively alter these forces and consequently the shape and position of the brow—for better or for worse.

For example, injection of the orbicularis and corrugator may cause a mild chemical browlift by leaving the elevating force of the frontalis unopposed.  Conversely, a large dose of Botox or Dysport to the frontalis may cause sagging of the brow, as the downward forces of the corrugator and orbicularis are unopposed.<

It is important that your injector be experienced and have a good working knowledge of the anatomy.  This is why I personally perform all Botox and Dysport injections in my Plano/Frisco office.

For more information, including before / after Botox and Dysport photos, please click here.

To schedule an appointment, please call us at (469) 306-1774 or email us at

Ronald M. Friedman, M.D.

Certified, American Board of Plastic Surgery

Director, West Plano Plastic Surgery Center

Former Chief of Plastic Surgery, Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas, Texas

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