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Specialist in NYC answers your FAQs about Botox: “Do Injections Help Migraines?”

Dr. Edmund Kwan in NYC answers your FAQs about Botox: Do Injections Help Migraines?

As one of the world’s most popular cosmetic procedures, you’ve probably heard of Botox and its wrinkle-reducing powers. But Botox actually originated as treatment for chronic medical conditions; first, for crossed eyes and eye twitching and, later, for the neck pain of cervical dystonia. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its use for conditions like blepharospasm in the 1980s, almost 15 years before Botox Cosmetic got the FDA’s stamp of approval to treat those glabellar or frown lines between the eyebrows. In 2010, patients with Chronic Migraine were presented with an alternative to conventional medications that merely treat the symptoms and not the problem, when the FDA approved Botox for the treatment of this neurological condition among patients aged 18 and older. Below, Dr. Edmund Kwan answers a few of the Frequently Asked Questions about this powerful migraine prevention treatment.

Q. Do Botox Injections in NYC Help Migraines?

A. Yes! When administered properly at our offices in Manhattan, Flushing, and Fort Lee, you may see a significant reduction in the number of “headache days” after a single treatment. In clinical trials, Botox for Chronic Migraine prevented, on average, eight to nine headaches each month after two treatments. Generally, treatment sessions are scheduled every 12 weeks. The reduction in headaches improves over the course of 24 weeks.

Q. How does Botox work?

Dr. Edmund Kwan explains how does Botox work

A. Most Botox products work by inhibiting the action of the muscles responsible for the offending cosmetic concern or medical condition, be it crow’s feet, eye spams, or even excessive sweating; however, as it relates to Chronic Migraine, Botox blocks the release of chemicals that are responsible for producing the pain of migraine headaches. When administered through very thin needles to targeted treatment sites, Botox enters the nerve endings around where it is injected and stops pain networks in the brain from being activated.

Q. What can I expect from each treatment session?

A. Each appointment involves administering the Botox medication through needles so fine that most of our patients say they feel like tiny pin pricks, nothing more. The injections themselves are quite shallow; Botox medication isn’t applied deeply under the skin. Since the procedure is so noninvasive, numbing anesthetic isn’t required. While there are 31 total injections to seven key areas of the head and neck, the session can be completed in around 15 minutes. These sites have been specifically identified as the sources of headache and migraine symptoms, so this particular application is specifically designed to treat this common yet debilitating condition.

Q. And what about side effects?

A. Neck pain is the most common side effect, experienced by 9 percent of patients in studies versus 3 percent for a placebo. We can discuss other potential risks during a consultation, but generally Botox is safe, quick, low-risk, and you can get back to your day and regular activities since it’s also a “no-downtime” procedure.

Q. How do you know if I could benefit from Botox for migraines?

Dr. Edmund Kwan explains the benefit from Botox for migraines

A. We won’t know for sure until after a thorough consultation and evaluation of your medical history. But, in general, the results our patients have seen are truly transformative. As most anyone with Chronic Migraine knows, this is not just your “average headache.” This condition is characterized by:

  • Headaches that last four hours or longer
  • At least 15 migraines per month for three-plus months
  • Frequently, intense pulsing or throbbing
  • A “sick” headache, accompanied by nausea
  • Extreme sensitivity to light and sound

It’s not uncommon for patients who started with “episodic” migraines a couple of times per month to notice their frequency and severity gets worse over time, to the point where they become a Chronic Migraine sufferer. Such a debilitating and prolonged condition can significantly reduce the quality of your life, affecting work and school performance, and social and family relationships. The best migraine is the one that never happens, and Botox is a proven effective and safe alternative to the pain-relieving medications that merely take the edge off of the headache that has already occurred.

While certainly not a treatment priority, Botox may have the added benefit of also restoring a more relaxed appearance when placed in the temples and on the forehead where static wrinkles normally arise. More questions? Schedule an appointment at one of our three locations.


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    Dr. Kwan is by far the most talented surgeon I have EVER crossed paths with. I came to Dr. Kwan after an under eye fat transplant, performed 'by another' plastic surgeon, which deformed my face. It was only until I was under Dr.Kwan's care that the deformity was corrected. Dr. Kwan literally gave me back my beauty. This was a priceless feeling. That was about 4 years ago, I can assure you ever since- Dr. Kwan is the ONLY plastic surgeon I trust my face and body to. I look forward to my body contouring procedure coming up in a few weeks!! :)
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    The staff treated me very kindly, with respect and genuine smiles. Dr Kwan is a real professional in my opinion. He took the time to listen to my story, addressed my concerns and took his time to walk me through the process and give me his opinion and explanation on his recommendation. I had my surgery in his practice and we went over everything again before I met up with the anesthesiologist, who was equally as nice and professional as everyone else at his practice. We started counting bikes ... and after bike #6 I fell a sleep. When I woke up, he was there to tell me I did great and before I knew it I was in a taxi cab back home with my best friend who came to pick me up. So I don't know if this is typical, but I had no pain whatsoever after the surgery. . I am very very happy with the results. Dr Kwan did an amazing job and I couldn't be more pleased.
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    I was involved in an automobile accident last May, 2013. The outcome from the emergency room left me with 5 stitches on the bridge of my nose, and the tip of my nose was missing due to the severe impact of the accident. I called and scheduled an appointment to visit Dr. Kwan so he could assess my nose. Upon arriving to the office, I was immediately impressed with the facility, service, and professionalism of his staff. Dr. Kwan met with me and examined my nose and in detail, he explained the approach he would take in order to get my nose like brand new again.On the day of my surgery, I was met by Dr Kwan, who performed the surgery, himself. His Anesthesiologist was very informative and professional as well. The outcome of Phase 1 was a success. In addition to that, the staff even called my medication into the pharmacy that way it would be ready as soon as I left the office. My nose is 98% back to normal, I now look forward to Phase 2 to be completed. After that procedure is done I am positive my nose will look absolutely perfect and I will be back to my confident self again. Thanks Dr Kwan and Staff.
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    I have been using Dr Kwan for over 10 years now. I have had many different procedures and all of them have turned out great. One of the breast augmentations had a crimp in the left breast and he had no problem going in to revise it to assure my satisfaction. I have always liked the way he answers each of my concerns and we go over everything for each procedure I've done several times to assure we are on the same page :) Take a list of any questions or concerns and I guarantee you will love your results no matter what procedure he is doing for you! .
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