Is the stomach Botox procedure a miracle treatment for overweight patients? - Dr. Jhenya Georgieva - gastroenterologist at Vita Hospital gives us the answer

Is the stomach Botox procedure a miracle treatment for overweight patients? - Dr. Jhenya Georgieva - gastroenterologist at Vita Hospital gives us the answer
06 February 2023
Recently the number of people who suffer from overweight has increased significantly. Almost 30% of the entire population suffers from it. This condition effects people not only in an aesthetic sense, but also could expose them to some potentially life threatening conditions, like diabetes, heart problems and hypertension, high levels of cholesterol, joint problems, difficulty breathing and sleep apnea.
Tackling the patients weight is the main part of the treatment, through a healthier diet and physical exercise. Sadly research shows, that only about 3% of patients manage to cut the unnecessary weight through dieting and sport and people that couldn’t manage losing the weight, should look to surgical interventions and procedures, to tackle this serious issue.
The most common bariatric procedures are a sleeve gastrectomy and stomach bypass, but along with them, a highly recommended and extremely successful procedure is the Stomach Botox surgery, being both more sparing, as well as a cheaper procedure. Dr. Jhenya Georgieva - gastroenterologist, answers questions in regards to this manipulation, performed at Vita Hospital.

- Dr. Georgieva, what does a stomach Botox procedure entail?

When speaking about Botox, many people start picturing plastic surgeons and the use of it in their battle against wrinkles between the eyes, on the forehead, the neck etc. In the last few years though, the implementation of the botox toxin in gastric procedures has really picked up and has become one of the most of effective methods for treating this disease.
The stomach Botox is a non-surgical method, highly recommended to patients with a BMI between 26 and 31, where the Botox substance gets injected in small quantities in very specific places of the stomach, that temporarily paralyses the stomach nerves and muscles. The effects of the manipulation last 4 to 6 months, lowering the patients appetite, whilst also retaining nutrients in the stomach longer, thus making the patient lose weight.
The procedure is carried out endoscopically, under anaesthesia, so it’s a very sparing on the patients body and psyche.
- Which patients are suitable for the stomach Botox procedure?

This procedure is suitable for every patient that wishes to shed unnecessary weight. It’s a light non-surgical procedure, that’s carried out under anaesthesia. There are certain criteria the patient must meet though. I recommend the stomach Botox to people that have suffered from being overweight and they can’t seem to make it work with dieting and sport. The procedure is most effective with people with a body mass index (BMI) of 27 to 35, in other words people that have an excess weight of 10 to 20 kg.
In reality the target demographic for this intervention is people who are overweight, but not yet obese and would like to lose about 10 to 15 kilograms.
Although quite effective for this group of people, the stomach Botox is not recommended for patients with a BMI of more than 40, whose best chance for recovery is through one of the modern day bariatric operations.
If the patient exhibits signs of an ulcer or gastritis during the initial examination, our Hospital will take the necessary steps in treating these diseases first and then proceed with the stomach Botox procedure.
- How long does the procedure take and will the patient need to be hospitalised?
The stomach Botox procedure is carried is a fully endoscopic procedure, it usually takes roughly 20 minutes, during the procedure the patient is sedated with the help of an anesthesist. The procedure doesn’t require hospitalisation, usually the patient remains in supervision for about an hour or two, after which he is discharged and he can go home.
When do the effects of the procedure start to take place?
The patient’s cravings for food start decreasing in the first 2 to 3 days after the procedure and the patient starts the weight loss process after the second week.
- What sort of diet do we have to keep after the procedure?

After the stomach Botox procedure the patient needs to be very mindful with his/hers diet. Foods high on carbohydrates and fats are to be avoided, for example “fast food”.

The maximum benefit from this procedure can be extracted, if the patient adapts his/hers whole life to committing to a healthy dietary program for the rest of their life. This is what makes this procedure so special, it allows the patient to make a crucial change in the way they are living, that will improve and prolong their life.
- How does the patient feel after the stomach Botox?
The patient, that receives the stomach Botox procedure, will feel less hunger and will be replete with lesser portions of food and feel full for longer periods at a time.
How much weight will the patient lose through the procedure?
This method, usually aims to help the patient lose between 10 and 20 kilograms for a period of 3 to 6 months.
A recent study shows that a year onwards 70% of patients have lost a significant part of the unwanted weight, with each one losing around 17% of their overweight. These numbers can vary between different patients in regards to their age, their metabolism and the frequency with which they exercise.
The stomach Botox procedure enables the patient to regain a healthy weight. However factors like neglecting a healthy diet, sedentary way of life and lack of exercise can significantly affect the process of losing weight.
In a sense the answer to the question “how much weight will I lose through this procedure?”, is all up to the patients commitment to the process.
- Can the procedure be done once again if the wanted results aren’t achieved?

Yes, it can. After an assessment with your gastroenterologist, the stomach Botox could be reapplied after a 6 month period, 3 times in a row.
It has to be considered that the stomach Botox is not a means to replicate modern day social beauty standards, imposed to us by magazines and internet platforms. We recommend that the procedure be a catalyst for change in the patient’s lifestyle, so that his weight loss and followed weight retention is self-sustainable. This is achieved through a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Is it a certainty, that the stomach Botox procedure can successfully optimize a patient’s weight in the long term?
No method can guarantee a long term solution to being overweight, without purposeful and deliberate efforts, from the patient’s side. So it’s incorrect to label the procedure a miracle treatment, although there’s been such claims made online and in the media. Yes, the stomach Botox procedure helps reduce the patient’s appetite and help him/her achieve a healthier diet. There is also the possibility for the procedure to fail with patients, that consume foods high on carbohydrates after the procedure, don’t exercise and don’t follow a healthy diet.
It’s necessary, there to be a plan put in place, in terms of diet and regular exercise, in order for the patient to achieve the best results possible and maintain the wanted effects for ever.
- Are there any risks associated with this manipulation?
Botox has been a staple in modern day medicine for many years now and its correct application has never lead to any complications. Studies have shown, there are no risks of harming the patients stomach and its function through its application.
The only patients that are not suited for this procedure are people who suffer with regular muscle diseases or are allergic to Botox in general.
- Is there any danger of the Botox spreading across the whole body?

This is also one of the frequently asked questions we receive. Of course, this process has been analyzed many times and many studies have been carried out in order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the patient and the results show there is no chance of the substance spreading.
It has to be pointed out, that the stomach Botox procedure is a process that blocks the nerve conduction in the specific areas, where the Botox has been applied, thus helping the patient by reducing his/hers appetite and helping him/her feel full for longer a longer period.
- Can stomach Botox be used with pregnant ladies and throughout early motherhood?
There have not been many conclusive studies in regards to this question. Most women are looking to get rid of the excess weight, that they gained throughout pregnancy, therefore many women are looking at stomach Botox as a method to help them achieve that.
However the gastroenterologists at Vita Hospital don’t recommend the use of the stomach Botox procedure throughout pregnancy and breatsfeeding period.
- I have lazy bowel syndrome, will I get stomach bloating after the procedure?
One of the concerns patients get after the manipulation is stomach bloating. Some of them think that this problem is related to the procedure and that their lazy bowel syndrome has worsened since they received the treatment. In fact it’s impossible for the Botox to affect the patients bowel movement or nerve endings in any way. This procedure doesn’t lead to worsening a patients lazy bowels, if the patient follows a stricter diet in the post procedural period.
As mentioned above a personalized healthy dietary plan needs to be put in place for achieving the best results and the dietitians at Vita Hospital can help you devise such a program. The stomach Botox procedure in combination with this new diet can actually help a patient cure his lazy bowel syndrome forever.


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