Botox, the same treatment used for treating wrinkles, is often effective in treating gastroparesis as well. It is a less invasive procedure operating on the same idea as a pyloroplasty. Botox is given locally so side effects are not common.
Botox is injected during an endoscopic procedure. The patient must remain NPO after midnight the night before the procedure.
Before the procedure:
The patient will be instructed to arrive at the hospital approximately 30-60 minutes before the actual injection is scheduled. He/she will be given an IV, placed on a heart monitor, and receive oxygen throughout the procedure. Once ready, the patient will be taken from the holding room to a procedure room where he/she will be instructed to lay on his/her left side and then given IV sedation.
During the procedure:
While the patient is sedated, the physician will advance a scope through the esophagus, stomach, and to the pyloric sphincter. Botox is injected into the pyloric sphincter in an effort to relax that muscle, enabling food to empty from the stomach more easily. It takes approximately 15-30 minutes.
After the procedure:
The patient will return to a holding area to recover from the IV sedation. Once he/she is able to sit up and tolerate a small amount of fluid, the patient will be discharged into the care of a family member. Driving is restricted for 24 hours.
The effects of the botox may be felt immediately, or may take some time to begin working. Complications from the procedure include nausea and vomiting from sedatives. Although rare, some report bleeding, perforation of the esophagus, fever, or severe vomiting.
Botox injections are not a permanent solution and usually last no more than 6 months. Repeat injections do not always produce the same results.