Progress on Botulinum Toxin Type A-Induced Pain Relief in the Field of Plastics

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To retrospectively evaluate the effectiveness of Botulinum Toxin Type A (BTX-A) injections relieve pain in the field of plastic surgery and postoperative rehabilitation, and discuss the analgesic mechanism of BTX- A in plastics and related research progress.


From appearance to September 1, 2016, PUBMED, EMBASE, and Web of Science were searched, using the key words related to “Botulinum Toxin Type A” and “Pain.” Furtherly, nonplastic surgery-related literature was excluded by manual screening.


Eleven literatures met the inclusion criteria, including 6 prospective controlled cohorts, 4 patient series, and 1 retrospective cohort. These studies involved Lower Limb, Breast, Hallux, Amputees, and Temporomandibular joint disk disfigurement and enrolled 402 patients. Among the patients, 360 received intraoperative BTX-A injection at the time of the main surgical procedure, 16 injected postoperatively and 26 did not undergo surgery. And 85.32% reported pain alleviation and 69.96% got favorable side effects and no one occurred major adverse effects. But 1.83% accepted injections more than once. Mechanism analysis explained these studies’ results and demonstrated the analgesic effectiveness of BTX-A in plastics with nociceptive pain, inflammatory pain, and neuropathic pain.


The results suggest that BTX-A may induce postoperative pain associated with plastic surgeries relief. But the available data of outcome assessment involved in this review are inconsistent and failed to meet methodological rigor. And pain alleviations are influenced by many factors. So further randomized controlled clinical trials with large sample sizes are needed to support this practice, determine standard usage methods, and establish corresponding specification systems.

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