Stomach or gastric Botox is a relatively new method for weight loss treatment.
It is a non-surgical, endoscopic procedure during which Botox is injected directly into the internal stomach wall. These injections help speed up the process of losing weight for those who want to achieve rapid and effective weight loss.
Botulinum toxin is the primary substance within the Botox injection. It has been used before to combat the signs of ageing by smoothening the skin and reducing the appearance of facial wrinkles. It is also used to treat health conditions such as chronic migraines but has only recently emerged as a non-surgical weight loss treatment.
Stomach Botox injections work for weight loss because the Botox limits the contraction of the stomach muscles, causing the muscles to relax and suppress appetite. In addition, this method delays the gastric emptying process and that makes you feel full longer – resulting in reduced food intake.
Are Gastric Botox Injections Right For Me?
Gastric Botox injections are not the right choice for everyone, and your care team will do a thorough evaluation to determine if the treatment can work for you.
In general, gastric Botox is suitable for people who are overweight, but not for people who are obese, as this method is ineffective for people whose body mass index (BMI) is above 40. The most suitable candidate would be the one whose BMI is below 35.
People who suffer from serious obesity problems are not qualified for gastric Botox injections and an alternative procedure would be advised.
People benefit from gastric Botox if they have trouble controlling their appetite or they struggle to follow strict diets and commit to regular exercise. You can have gastric Botox done if you suffer from stomach ulcers, gastritis and health conditions associated with excess weight such as type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
How Should I Prepare For The Gastric Botox Procedure?
Gastric Botox is not a surgical operation, although there are factors that need to be considered in preparation for this procedure. The doctor will perform some physical examinations and several tests, following an assessment of your medical history, health conditions, previous surgeries, and any prescribed medication.
If you are a suitable candidate for gastric Botox, the doctor will provide some instructions on how to prepare for the procedure, including fasting 8-12 hours before the procedure and cessation of certain medications 24 hours before the procedure (such as aspirin to avoid bleeding).
How Is Gastric Botox Performed?
Gastric Botox is not a complex procedure as it does not require any surgical instruments or incisions. Botulinum toxins are injected into the stomach wall from the inside during the procedure.
No general anaesthesia is required, only a local anaesthetic where the patient will remain conscious. During the procedure:
- Localised numbing is applied to the throat, via an oral spray, to reduce discomfort and prevent a gagging sensation during the procedure.
- The doctor inserts the endoscope through the throat into the stomach.
- Once the endoscope is in place within the stomach, the doctor injects the Botox, through a needle, attached to one end of the endoscope.
- The Botox is injected into specific locations into the inner wall of the stomach which causes relaxation of the stomach muscles.
- Once all injections are complete, the endoscope is removed.
- This procedure usually lasts about 20 to 30 minutes.
- After having this procedure, you will have to stay in the clinic for the next 1 to 2 hours for monitoring. There is no need to stay in the clinic overnight.
- You will be able to continue your daily activities the following day.
After The Procedure
You might feel discomfort from where the endoscope travelled through your throat. The doctor will also suggest not to drink or eat for a few hours until the local anaesthetic (oral spray) has completely worn off and the throat feels normal again.
You may experience some fatigue for a few days after the procedure.
Your diet after gastric Botox injections should include foods rich in nutrients, proteins and low carbohydrates. Cutting down on sugar, such as sweets or chocolates is also highly recommended.
Gastric Botox is effective immediately after the injections and lasts in the body for 4 to 6 months, during which you will be able to see the results of the Botox injections – namely a reduced appetite and weight loss.
What Are The Benefits Of Gastric Botox?
Gastric Botox has several benefits for people who are trying to lose weight. It is a new method for weight loss that has been quite successful.
Some of the benefits of stomach Botox injections include:
- Minimally invasive and non-surgical procedure
- Promising weight-loss results
- Suitable for people who are overweight
- Cost-effective procedure
- Mild and temporary side effects
- Rapid recovery
- Easier and more comfortable recovery and aftercare compared to bariatric surgeries
What Are The Risks And Complications Of Gastric Botox?
Even though gastric Botox is not a complex procedure it can have some side effects and some possible risks and complications, from the injections themselves or the process of the procedure. However, there is no risk for permanent health problems as the Botox injections disappear from the body within 4-6 months.
The risk of the following side effects and complications is very low, but they might still happen:
- Difficulty in breathing and abnormal heart rates
- Bleeding from the injection site
- Pain or swelling in the injection area
- Damage to the lining of the upper digestive tract
- Pain in the throat and/or abdomen
- Allergic reaction to the Botox
- Chest and abdominal pain
How much does a Gastric Botox cost?
Gastric Botox injections are a cost-effective procedure for weight loss. The average cost of gastric Botox injection in the UK is around £4,500.
However, if you are considering an overseas gastric Botox injection, the prices can range between £1,000 and £8,000.
Gastric Botox injections are not currently available on the NHS.