Stomach botox is a minimally invasive procedure that uses botulinum toxin type A (Botox) to temporarily weaken the muscles of the stomach and slow down the emptying of the stomach. This can lead to a feeling of fullness, reduced appetite, and weight loss.
Stomach botox is typically performed as an outpatient procedure under sedation. A thin, flexible tube called an endoscope is inserted through the mouth and into the stomach. The endoscope has a camera at the tip, which allows the doctor to see the inside of the stomach. The doctor then injects Botox into the pyloric sphincter, which is the muscle that controls the emptying of the stomach.
How Stomach Botox Works
Stomach botox works by temporarily weakening the muscles of the stomach and slowing down the emptying of the stomach. This can lead to a feeling of fullness, reduced appetite, and weight loss.
Botox is a botulinum toxin, which is a type of protein that blocks nerve signals. When Botox is injected into the stomach muscles, it prevents the nerves from sending signals to the muscles to contract. This causes the muscles to relax and the stomach to empty more slowly.
As a result, people who have stomach botox feel full for a longer period of time after eating, which can help them eat less and lose weight.
Indications and Medical Conditions
Stomach botox is indicated for people who:
- Have a body mass index (BMI) between 25 and 40
- Have been unable to lose weight with diet and exercise alone
- Are not eligible for or do not want to have weight loss surgery
Stomach botox may also be used to treat certain medical conditions, such as:
- Gastroparesis: This is a condition in which the stomach muscles do not contract properly, causing food to move too slowly through the digestive system.
- Achalasia: This is a condition in which the muscles at the bottom of the esophagus do not relax properly, making it difficult to swallow food.
- Chronic heartburn: Stomach botox can help to reduce acid reflux by weakening the muscles that control the emptying of the stomach.
The Procedure: What to Expect
Stomach botox is typically performed as an outpatient procedure under sedation. Here is what to expect:
- You will be asked to change into a gown and lie on a table on your back.
- An intravenous (IV) line will be inserted into your arm to deliver fluids and sedation.
- Your doctor will spray your throat with a numbing medication.
- A thin, flexible tube called an endoscope will be inserted through your mouth and into your stomach.
- The endoscope has a camera at the tip, which allows the doctor to see the inside of your stomach.
- The doctor will then inject Botox into the pyloric sphincter, which is the muscle that controls the emptying of your stomach.
- The procedure takes about 15-30 minutes to complete.
- Once the procedure is complete, the endoscope will be removed and you will be allowed to rest.
- Most people can go home the same day.
Benefits and Potential Risks
Benefits of stomach botox:
- Weight loss
- Reduced appetite
- Feeling of fullness
- Improved digestion
- Reduced need for medication for acid reflux
Potential risks of stomach botox:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Acid reflux
- Allergic reaction to Botox
Other potential risks:
- Perforation of the stomach (very rare)
- Infection (very rare)
- Damage to the nerves of the stomach (very rare)
Preparing for Stomach Botox
Here are some safety guidelines for preparing for stomach botox:
- Tell your doctor about all of the medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medications and herbal supplements. Some medications, such as blood thinners, can increase the risk of bleeding during the procedure. Your doctor may need to adjust your medications or ask you to stop taking them for a period of time before the procedure.
- Avoid taking any blood thinners, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, for at least one week before the procedure. This will help to reduce the risk of bleeding during the procedure.
- Eat a light meal and avoid drinking alcohol for at least 8 hours before the procedure. This will help to reduce the risk of nausea and vomiting during the procedure.
- Arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure. You will be sedated for the procedure and should not drive for 24 hours afterwards.
Recovery and Aftercare
Most people can return to their normal activities the day after stomach botox. However, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully, such as eating small, frequent meals and avoiding alcohol and caffeine.
Here are some additional tips for recovery and aftercare:
- Eat small, frequent meals throughout the day. This will help to prevent nausea and vomiting.
- Avoid drinking alcohol and caffeine for at least 24 hours after the procedure. Alcohol and caffeine can irritate the stomach and worsen side effects such as nausea and vomiting.
- Get plenty of rest. This will help your body to heal.
- Avoid strenuous exercise for at least 24 hours after the procedure.
- Contact your doctor if you experience any severe side effects, such as severe nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, or abdominal pain.
Effectiveness and Duration
Stomach botox has been shown to be effective for weight loss in a number of studies. One study found that people who had stomach botox lost an average of 10% of their body weight over 6 months. Another study found that people who had stomach botox were more likely to lose weight and keep it off than people who did not have the procedure.
However, it is important to note that stomach botox is not a magic bullet for weight loss. It is important to follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly to achieve the best results.
The effects of stomach botox typically last for 3-6 months. After that, you may need to have the procedure repeated to maintain your results.
Cost and Insurance Coverage
The cost of stomach botox varies depending on a number of factors, including the geographic location of the procedure, the experience of the doctor, and the amount of Botox that is injected. The average cost of stomach botox in the United States is between $3,000 and $6,000.
Some insurance companies may cover the cost of stomach botox if it is deemed medically necessary. For example, if you have a medical condition such as gastroparesis or achalasia, stomach botox may be covered by your insurance. However, it is important to check with your insurance company to see if they cover stomach botox and to determine what your out-of-pocket costs would be.