Gastric botulinum toxin injections have been widely used in recent years and botulinum toxin is injected into the gastric fundus using an endoscopy needle. Botulinum toxin affects striated muscles of the stomach, inhibits their contractions; in this way it slows the digestion of food in the stomach. It takes longer the stomach to digest the food and accordingly, the sensation of fullness persists for a longer period of time. The botox is mainly injected into the gastric fundus which is considered to be the appetite center of the stomach and stops Ghrelin hormone signaling from the area. Ultimately, the procedure facilitates appetite control. In other words, the procedure decreases the appetite and induces a feeling of prolonged fullness
HOW BOTOX IS ADMINISTERED INTO THE STOMACH?
The botulinum toxin may be administered painlessly under mild sedation at the endoscopy unit. The amount of botox administered to patients may vary in range between 500 IU and 1000 IU. The procedure takes approximately 15 to 29 minutes. After the completion of the procedure patients are transferred to the ward and are observed for at least 2 hours. Patients remain at the hospital until they feel well enough to go home
WHO MAY RECEIVE BOTOX INJECTIONS INTO THE STOMACH?
Individuals who have failed to achieve satisfactory results in prior attempts of dietary restrictions, who needs new sources of motivation that may help them follow a weight loss diet, individuals slightly overweight with a body weight index higher than 25 kg/m² or individuals who are classified as obese but who do not prefer surgical interventions may easily receive botox injections into the stomach.
Any stomach diseases including gastritis and ulcers should be treated before the gastric botox injection procedure. Patients may receive botox injections after completing their treatment.
HOW LONG LAST THE EFFECTS OF GASTRIC BOTOX INJECTIONS?
The effects of gastric botox injections start about 72 hours after the procedure and last for 4 to 6 months. At the end of this time period, one should assess if the risk for diseases which have been imminent before the patient has achieved his/her ideal weight has resolved. Injections do not need to be repeated in patients who have no health problems and have succeeded to lose enough weight. However, such patients are advised to comply with their diet and exercise plan.
The procedure may be repeated 6 months later in patients who are satisfied with the outcome achieved by botulinum toxin injections into the stomach. The interval between injections may be prolonged if the patient adequately complies with his/her diet, has performed his/her best during the previous 6 months and does not complain about his/her food consumption in that period of time. There are no drawbacks associated with the repetition of gastric botox injections. The procedure may be repeated 3 times successively with 6 months interval.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF GASTRIC BOTOX INJECTIONS?
The main advantages of gastric botox injections include non-surgical nature of the procedure and immediate return to the activities of daily living. No wound dressings are needed as the procedure does not involve any surgical incisions or sutures. The healing process is more rapid and comfortable compared to other weight loss procedures.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF GASTRIC BOTOX INJECTIONS?
There are no known serious side effects of gastric botox injections, although these are widely used in medical esthetic practices. Any significant adverse effects of gastric botox injections have not been reported in the literature as this procedure is performed endoscopically. Gastric botox injections are contraindicated in patients with muscle diseases or hypersensitivity to botulinum toxin.
DIET FOLLOWING GASTRIC BOTOX INJECTIONS
Dietary compliance is of critical importance following gastric botox injections. Individuals who have received botulinum toxin into the stomach should remember that the procedure is intended to facilitate dietary compliance. During this period of time, you and your dietician will plan a diet with well- balanced amounts of carbohydrate, fat and protein, which will be suitable to your lifestyle, eating habits and sensation of taste and will make easier for you to achieve your goals without feeling hungry.