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Botox - Paralyzed Half my Smile - San Francisco, CA

I have been getting botox for years from a PS but...

I have been getting botox for years from a PS but moved to a new area and went to a new doc. This new doc came highly recommended and I have seen her for 2 years without a glitch.

This last time, however she got a little happy with the injections and I wound up losing my smile. Since I had gotten Juvaderm in my frown lines also, I was hoping that it was just the swelling that was causing my face to react, however as time went by and my crows feet disappeared, my smile went with it.

I know from experience that this will take 4-5 months to go away and am dealing with that now. How sad for me to have to turn my face if I want to smile and not sneer at people.

I am embarrassed and so very sad that I chose to do this. I am taking solace in writing this (though it is painful to fully accept that this is my face for the next 4 months) and am hoping that someone will think twice about botox before they have this happen also.

I am looking forward to having my smile back - wrinkles and all.

I just had to add here that when I contacted the...

I just had to add here that when I contacted the Doctor and emailed her these photos, she first claimed that this would resolve in 2 weeks. I reminded her that it has already been 2 weeks.

She then emailed me saying she could inject MORE botox in different areas to try to even out the smile.

NO thanks.

I got yet another email from the doc insisting...

I got yet another email from the doc insisting that she can inject MORE into my face to try and balance out my smile. She wants to inject the muscles to lower one side of my smile (the good side!) and paralyze my high lip on the bad side . . . I sent a scalding email letting her know that I no longer have trust in her and that I don't want MORE paralysis. I am quite disfigured enough, thank you very much.

I also notice now that my cheek hangs down on the paralyzed side if I am bent over or leaning to that side -- very floppy! It's hard to speak properly if there are a lot of "F" sounds to pronounce as my cheek puffs out and fills with air.

Lastly I cannot chew foods effectively. While she was trying to convince me that I needed the masseter muscles to be injected (I had come in only for my crow's feet) I was told that the masseter muscle assisted a little on the hardest foods, but that I wouldn't really notice. HA! Even ground beef is too much for me! One would think that I would lose weight, but instead I just attempt to chew it despite the pain, and then end up swallowing.

Probably TMI here, but I just want others to know of the true side effects and possible outcomes of a bad botox job.

Horrible experience and I'm only 3 weeks out now.

Name not provided

I had been seeing this doctor for 2 years before this happened and she was very good before this accident, but one slip up and she's out the door. It IS my face after all.

1 out of 5 stars Overall rating
4 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
3 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
4 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
2 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
3 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (23)

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It's been a month and a half and my smile still looks the same ... Distorted and pathetic . Why isn't anyone replying to me ???? Where are all of you all ??? Can u please tell me how much time it honestly takes to get back to original ???? Please !!!!
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Ms Roshini, I am so sorry you are still suffering. To be honest with you, my smile still has not returned to 100%, and it is now just over a year later. It took about 3 and 1/2 months before I could lift the left side of my lips to smile, but I have resigned myself to the fact that I will never look exactly like I used to look (and the real kicker is that there is NOTHING I can do about it!). I really hope that within the next few weeks you will begin to see some changes and that your smile returns. One thing that I thought helped me on a short term basis was to gently massage the area above my lip, in a circular and upward motion. It might have been wishful thinking on my part, but it seemed to temporarily "loosen" the muscles and help me lift my lip a bit. I truly am feeling your pain. I will carry the regret of taking my natural looks for granted, and trying to change them, for the rest of my life. Please hang in there...it WILL get better soon.
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Hello teacher84 Thanks so much for replying to me . I wonder how I didn't see your post earlier . I am so thwarted at the moment .. Wake up every Morning thinking that today I ll see myself smiling normally . It's been exactly 2 months today and there has been sadly no change at all . I hope like you said in another month even I d be able to see some change . I am very sad and sacred that it might not return to 100% like in your case . I hope we both recover a 100% soon . I will surely keep your advice in mind and try doing the same kind of action on my face . I really hope and pray that we both get to see our natural smiles soon on our faces and learn from this lesson to never get into something like this ever again . Thanks for your wishes .
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Hi , I am from India . I have too gotten punished the same way . What's different in my case is I am an actor and have assignment lined up for next month . Please if at all by now anyone out of you know of any way in which I can recover from the smile loss faster ??? On my face even masseter effect isn't looking nice .. My face has lost it's shape ... It looks irregular . To top that my smile looks exactly like yours .. All in all I look terrible . I don't know how to disclose it to my producers . Can someone please tell me any kind of antidote or if b12 injections help or electro therapies are needed . SOS !!!!!
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I had botox by my dentist to treat my grinding/clenching problem. While I was there, I had juvederm in the lower half of my "laugh lines"....mouth to chin. The left side looks similar to yours with a solid crease that is so ugly on the left side. It feels like the botox because there is a weakness when I smile. Lesson learned for me...wear the mouth guard and age gracefully. My smile was the one thing that made me look pretty young and now it looks like crap. I'm dreading heading back to the dentist for a follow up. I know how this works...they won't accept responsibility. Meanwhile, I guess I just have to wait it out.

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How are you now?
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thank you for putting your horror story up! i would have been tempted to do it for smoker's lines if someone suggested it, but i will stay away for sure. i got my 11 lines done today so i guess i will know in a few days if it is a good job.

regards, lisa
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No.NO.NO. You are correct, don't even this out, wait for it to wear off. You could potentially make it worse. And two weeks is incorrect this will take a few month to even out on it's own. The eye/crows feet injections should be placed at the lateral aspect of the orbital rim/ eye area not below onto the cheek area or this will happen. Ask around and find an experienced injector, perhaps someone who trains other injectors in your area. I have been injecting for over 11 years and these posts are very disappointing. There are many good injectors out there.
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Thank you Lynelle!

Before I moved I was getting injections from a plastic surgeon - I always had fabulous results with him!!

Just out of curiosity, could my smile paralysis come from injecting the masseters? That's what this doc says it's from, but I read that it is usually from chasing the crows feet down the face too far.
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The masseter muscle injections should be placed near the inferior boarder of the mandible/lower jaw. If done correctly should not affect your smile.
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Not sure how I stumbled on a 2 year post. I have had Botox and juviderm for 6 and 2 years. Never a problem. After my mom was with me the nurse said we should prevent tension lines in the chin as seen in my mom. Because I did recognize that I held tension there I said, "sure". This is only 4 days later and the left side of my smile is completely paralyzed.... I am complimented on my smile all of the time and it is GONE. I am scared now. Do I get the other side or live with a 1/2 smile. Wow, I'm shocked. I have huge enemts coming up in 4 weeks and after reading all of the above.... I simply do not know what the answer is? I know I can't look as if I had a stroke. I'm 48. Always maintain. So now 38 to looking like an unfortunate person who had a stroke. Loss for words.....
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i have never heard of anyone using botox below the eyes. juvederm injections could have caused the mouth to sag. or for the smile to distort. botox has worked great for me between brows, crows feet and forehead. hope you feel better.
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Thanks Lisaharmon!

I have been getting injections for crows feet, "11" lines etc and have always had great results. This time I believed the receptionist and doctor when they told me that I could slim my face and get rid of my night time habit of grinding my teeth if it was injected into the masseter muscle. Many people have great results with it so I tried it.

I'll stick to the eyes from now on.
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Thank you all for the encouraging words. I am so glad I have somewhere to post and share this. I still have not told anyone I know . . . I am afraid that if I say something it will cause them to "look" for the unevenness every time I speak.

I appreciate being able to put it all out there in this community and want you all to know that you are helping me get through this!! Thank you!!!
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Hi, I have to add that my doctor also said that this "unwanted effect" would resolve in 2 weeks. As if. 3 months really seemed to be a turning point for me.
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Hang in there! May I ask, were you getting Botox around your eyes, or were you having the Botox closer to your mouth?
thanks, Shelly
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Hi Shelly57 -
Thanks! I had treatment for crow's feet around my eyes and also had the masseter muscles injected in my jaw to try to stop my grinding/jaw clenching.
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sorry, i hadn't read this. wow, didn't know they were using botox this way. can you tell if you liked your eye work or no?
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Yes, Lisaharmon - I LOVE the eye results. I always have had good results with that.
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Afyregirl, has your smile returned yet? I am going through the same thing right now; your pictures could be mine! I had juvederm and botox done on my nasolabial folds and other cheek lines on July 18th, and the left side of my smile is now paralyzed. I am devastated and have not been able to leave the house. When I do, I have to concentrate on not smiling. My doctor has acted like there is no way this was caused by the Botox or Juvederm and said it would go back to normal "very soon" (whatever that means)...It's been a month and it looks the same. I have another appointment this week.
Can anyone offer me any hope at all that this will resolve itself? Should I get an attorney and sue?
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That is what I looked like 5 months ago, all I can say is it does get better, 2 moths seem to be the turning point for me, but still not back to "normal" yet, but getting there!!! You will get there too, just hang tight!!! Lilly
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Hi, I already commented on another thread. :)

But I so so so feel for you, your smile looks exactly the same as mine a bit over three months ago when the same thing happened to me. I just wasn´t brave enough to post pictures and my own review here.

I got used to covering my smile when laughing (didn´t smile very much anyway), and turned my face away. Let´s hope months will go fast, just hang in there!
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Hi Afyre, 

Oh my I'm so sorry. Hopefully that four months will go by extremely fast. I know posting the review and pictures was probably tough, but it is so useful and helpful for the community. We'd love to hear how everything is in four months. 

Thank you and enjoy your week,


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