Allergan Year of the Eye: Part 1

04 Apr 2014

Mr Taimur Shoaib, faculty member of the Allergan Medical Institute, discusses the treatment protocol and the training on offer

2014 has been dubbed ‘the year of the eye’ by Allergan, and at the 12th Anti-Aging Medicine World Congress in Monte-Carlo this April, the company will launch a unique new treatment protocol for the periorbital area. Designed to rejuvenate the entire area, safely, effectively and using scientifically proven techniques, this combination approach of botulinum toxin and dermal filler treatments was developed in consultation with twelve leading medical aesthetics practitioners from across Europe. It brings a holistic, individualized and stepwise approach to revitalization of this most delicate, expressive and important area of the face. A training programme in how to use the new protocol will now be rolled out to over to over 15,000 medical practitioners across Europe.
As a faculty member of the Allergan Medical Institute I am involved in the company’s medical education, and over the course of the next few months I will be conducting training sessions in Scotland and the North of England.
There is a clear demand from patients for eye rejuvenation. In a recent survey by Allergan, crow’s feet lines were identified as the most desired area for a facial injectable treatment, with under-eye bags and frown (glabellar) lines ranking closely behind in the top six areas of ageing concern. 
Yet treating this area has often been linked with complications. With its thin skin, complex anatomy and intricate nerve structure, the periocular area can be an unforgiving area for treatments with Botox and fillers. As part of the training provided with this new protocol, we will endeavour to show practitioners a safe and effective way of rejuvenating this delicate area. This will include expert guidance on periorbital anatomy, patient assessment, treatment with Allergan’s portfolio of Botox and the Juvéderm Vycross collection, as well as how to avoid complications. Key to the protocol is spreading the treatment over two appointments, with the eye area first treated with Botox followed two to four weeks later with dermal fillers. 
Allergan’s Botox is the only botulinum toxin now approved for the treatment of moderate-to-severe glabellar lines and crow’s feet lines, either alone or simultaneously, while Vycross is a versatile range of HA dermal fillers which can be used in a tailored way to treat the mid-face, infra-orbital and eyebrow areas. Volbella’s fine texture makes it suitable for the infra-orbital area, while Volift is suitable for mid-deep contouring in the eyebrow or temple. The mid-face deep fat pads can also be safely treated by gentle volumising using Juvéderm Voluma.

Copyright: Allergan Ltd.

The Protocol Explained

Before any treatment, it’s crucial to establish a comprehensive history of the patient. The two most important things we need to discover from our patients is what don’t they like about themselves, and what they are hoping to achieve. I take a full, relevant medical history too. Have they had treatments before? What treatments have they had? What have the results been like from this treatment? Do they have any allergies, are they otherwise fit and healthy? Are they on any medications? Do they smoke? 
I will then move on to examine the patient’s periocular area, starting at the forehead and moving down to the eyebrows and then into the eyelid region, before moving down to the lower eyelid-cheek junction and down to the midface where the cheek fat pads lie. 
I then examine the area in the lateral area of the periocular region where there are crow’s feet and the temporal fossa, where our temporal fat pads undergo atrophy as the ageing process occurs.
Following this, I will then come up with a tailored programme to address these main areas. 
On day one, Botox is administered into the glabella at five injection points, with four units given in each of these five injection points, giving a total of 20 units of Botox. One injection is given to the procerus muscle and two injections are given to the corrugator supercilii muscle, one on the left and one on the right: five injection points in total, with each injection approximately 1cm apart.
Botox is also then given to the crow’s feet area, 24 units at three injection points into the lateral vertical fibres of the orbicularis oculi muscle, inferior to the tail of the brow, each injection approximately 1cm apart. Botox starts working after a few days, and has its maximal affect after a couple of weeks.  According to Allergan’s clinical studies on the eye area, 59% of subjects were rated by investigators at Day 30 as having none or only mild wrinkles.  87.9% of subjects were rated by investigators as having a 1 grade or more improvement on the Facial Wrinkle Scale at maximum smile on Day 30. Patients continued to show significant improvement at 4 months.
Two weeks later I review the patient and begin the filler treatment. The majority of people benefit from a brow lift and volume restoration in their midface region at the deep malar fat pads. They also benefit from an enhancement of their orbital rim at the inferior border; the tear trough region. Some patients may also require temple fillers to treat temple hollowing.
My approach in this case would be to lift the eyebrows using Volift – giving 0.5cc of Volift into the lateral brow region – which would lift the brow by 0.25-0.5cm. I would then administer Voluma into the deep malar fat pads in the mid face, in the cheek region, and Volbella into the tear trough region. Often I would give five injection points of 0.1cc just inferior to the orbital rim.  We don’t want to inject into the eyelids as we don’t want to inject into the deeper structures of the periocular region. These exact injection points will be something we’ll show people during the training courses.
I don’t like to give Botox and filler into the same area at the same time. It’s safer to administer these separately as there’s a danger of overfilling or underfilling the areas or seeing too much or too little by way of brow lifting. I also want to see separately the effects of Botox into the muscles around these regions and filler into the fat pads.
Following the treatment the patient then needs reviewing again, to ensure the results meet our expectations, and that the patient has no complications. With this protocol we expect the vast majority will have none whatsoever.
However, later complications may occur, such as product migration, swelling, product palpability, and product visibility. Dealing with these is addressed as part of the training.
Knowledge of the anatomy of the nerves is crucial to avoid injecting into and around the nerves. Knowledge of the blood vessels and what to do if a blood vessel is inadvertently punctured is also vital to avoid bruising. Training is also given in these aspects.
Training for the protocol is delivered to a maximum of five participants at a time. Each session begins with presentations on the entire protocol, followed by a demonstration which I would carry out on a model. Participants bring in their own models in order to deliver the treatment themselves. 
Patients involved in Allergan’s clinical studies on the eye area claimed that at day 30 they felt they looked younger, more attractive and less tired when treated for crow’s feet lines and glabellar lines simultaneously, versus patients treated for crow’s feet lines alone. I’m very confident that we will be able to train practitioners in the safe and effective delivery of these treatments, minimising side effects and maximising outcomes.

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