Gastroparesis · Hospital Experiences · Procedures

Botox for Gastroparesis: Not Just for Wrinkles!

*Edit: About an hour and a half before we had to leave, I got a phone call saying that my procedure was cancelled. Apparently there was an issue with the funding for the Botox. I am quite upset and am just hoping it will be sorted so that things can be rescheduled.*

Today I’m off to the hospital to get Botox injections!

No… I’m not getting them in my face to avoid wrinkles, although that’s certainly what many people think of when they hear Botox.

I’m getting Botox injected into the inside of my stomach, in the hope that it will help my gastroparesis.

It sounds like an odd way to treat my condition, but it makes sense. Botox is injected into the pyloric sphincter (the exit out of the stomach), which helps allow the muscles to relax, helping food to move through easier.

It is not a cure, nor is it even a guaranteed treatment. I’ve been warned that it usually works, even to some extent, but it may not. It also does not typically last long term, with most people seeing a reduction in symptoms for 1-6 months. Despite this, it’s worth trying as it could provide me with some relief to the constant nausea I have, and the daily vomiting, bloating, and other symptoms. I’ll try anything!

The injection is done by endoscopy, so the process is, sadly, familiar to me.

It’s done by sedation, so they set me up with an IV line and, when ready, they give me something to sedate me. You feel sleepy, and then just basically sleep through the procedure.

You might also get a throat spray beforehand to numb your throat, and you will get a special thing to hold in your mouth that helps to protect your teeth.

The procedure is quick, and over before you know it!

Afterwards, they will wheel your bed into a recovery area to let you sleep and rest for a bit. Then, in my experience, they usually feed you some tea and some biscuits, before letting you go home.

I’ve had a few endoscopies now and so I know generally what to expect. The difference this time is the injection! That means I might react a bit differently, and the recovery will be different as I’ll be reacting to the Botox.

I might not know right away if the injection worked, but I’m very hopeful. I will update you on how I am doing, as soon as I can, and as soon as I know how well the injection worked.

It’s also incredibly good timing that I’m having my Botox injection the day before August 1st, as August is Gastroparesis Awareness Month, so look out for some special posts from me for that!


16 thoughts on “Botox for Gastroparesis: Not Just for Wrinkles!

  1. Erin, sending you so much love today & praying that this procedure will give you the much needed relief you need from the horrific Gastroparesis symptoms. Hugs galore xx πŸ’—

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I can’t “like” that comment. I’m so sorry, that’s incredibly disappointing for you. It’s such last minute notice to tell you; it’d be more understandable if the nurse scheduled to do it was sick or there was a technical error, but not due to funding. I really, really hope they get you rescheduled. xx

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I sure hope this helps you. I too, have severe Gastroparesis and I’m also very educated about endoscopies, as I’ve had many myself. I have a GJ Peg feeding tube. It works great for me. I still have a lot of nausea and abdominal pain, but it’s not as bad as it was, putting solid food into my mouth and my stomach, considering I have about zero motility from my esophagus all the way to the other end. I’m anxious to hear how these Botox injections work for you. Good luck. I’ll be thinking about you and looking forward to a follow up post. Take care. XX

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m very hopeful that the funding comes through and I can get the botox. My sister is a nurse and she thinks that long term, a gj tube would be good for me. My consultant and I have talked about tubes but want to try botox to see how that goes. I’m so glad that that tube has helped you! Xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. I sure hope the funding comes through so you can try the lesser of 2 evils, first. My doctor won’t do the Botox injections. I don’t know why. He told me, but I forgot. Maybe because insurance companies still consider it investigational??? Can’t remember. Anyway, I hope you get it done and that it brings you great relief from this horrible disease. If you do end up with the feeding tube and it’s the GJ tube, it’s not that bad once you get used to it. It’s better than the alternative……………………I wouldn’t be here. Good luck on this journey. Take care. XX πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

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