Botox injection for swallowing issues - Debating Surgery

Posted by Ryman @ryman, Mar 12, 2018

I have swallowing problems and the doctor wants to do a Botox injection into the lower sphincter. I am not sure about this but seems to be about the best treatment they can come up with. I know I will have to go a hospital 90 miles away and it usually needs done every couple of months, if it works. Has anyone had this done or had any experience with it? Thank you.

@ryman, Do you have any other issues related to the swallowing? GERD or esophageal constriction? I wonder what the etiology of the Botox treatment is? Does it relax the muscles so they can work more freely? Curious because I have gastroparesis and while we know what causes it, there may be a treatment we have not explored. Thanks, Gary

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@gman007

@ryman, Do you have any other issues related to the swallowing? GERD or esophageal constriction? I wonder what the etiology of the Botox treatment is? Does it relax the muscles so they can work more freely? Curious because I have gastroparesis and while we know what causes it, there may be a treatment we have not explored. Thanks, Gary

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I have had swallowing problems most of my life. I have had my esophagus stretched and tests done. I also have GERD. The Botox is supposed to relax the lower sphincter muscle so it will open properly. I do not know about the slow stomach. That would be nice. I think this is the last thing I am trying. Between this and my other problems lately I have seen so many doctors and had so many test, I am calling a halt.

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@ryman, I think me and many of the members here feel the same about doctors. I have a PCP and 6 specialists that I see, but a couple of them only when I am having more problems than my normal. I love seeing two consecutive weeks on my calendar w/out a Dr. appt. I will suggest that if you feel like they are not just spinning you in circles to see if you can keep your balance, and actually making progress, I would go until they stop spinning or reach what you feel is a reasonable spot that you can settle for at the present time. I have said before that I believe we overuse specialists and the only reason for that is malpractice suits and MP insurance. If my primary Dr. would simply refill my scripts when I have stabilized an illness or disease, it would could down tremendously on my office visits and I would love to go back to those days. I hope the botox will give you a great deal of relief and please keep us informed. I know I am very interested in how it works for you. Good luck, Gary

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@gman007

@ryman, I think me and many of the members here feel the same about doctors. I have a PCP and 6 specialists that I see, but a couple of them only when I am having more problems than my normal. I love seeing two consecutive weeks on my calendar w/out a Dr. appt. I will suggest that if you feel like they are not just spinning you in circles to see if you can keep your balance, and actually making progress, I would go until they stop spinning or reach what you feel is a reasonable spot that you can settle for at the present time. I have said before that I believe we overuse specialists and the only reason for that is malpractice suits and MP insurance. If my primary Dr. would simply refill my scripts when I have stabilized an illness or disease, it would could down tremendously on my office visits and I would love to go back to those days. I hope the botox will give you a great deal of relief and please keep us informed. I know I am very interested in how it works for you. Good luck, Gary

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Finally got an apt. I was being tossed around like a football. I have see this doctor before and not overly impressed but I am getting desperate. It is April 2. I have had a bad cold, actually “suspicious of pneumonia” for a month. That is slowly clearing up. Mostly, I am tired of tests and no real answers, and don’t like bothering my family as I can’t drive now. I had some concerning news about my lungs but not dreadful. I plan to try the Botox if it seems right. After that,I will see. Thank you for your reply and well wishes.

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Pray your cold will soon be over and health stable. Also, that the botox will help. Is a God send for me! Truly is!

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Thank you. That is encouraging. I suppose the next step would be some type of surgery.

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@gman007

@ryman, Do you have any other issues related to the swallowing? GERD or esophageal constriction? I wonder what the etiology of the Botox treatment is? Does it relax the muscles so they can work more freely? Curious because I have gastroparesis and while we know what causes it, there may be a treatment we have not explored. Thanks, Gary

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It allows the muscles to relax. The Botox blocks the nerves and does not allow the muscle to contract. I have had Botox for my gastroparesis and it helped. The length of time it helps depends on the person. Mine lasted a few weeks for my first treatment but I did it as a trial before having a pylorotomy. Which had really helped.

Liked by 01twinmom

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@gman007

@ryman, Do you have any other issues related to the swallowing? GERD or esophageal constriction? I wonder what the etiology of the Botox treatment is? Does it relax the muscles so they can work more freely? Curious because I have gastroparesis and while we know what causes it, there may be a treatment we have not explored. Thanks, Gary

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Ryman, First of all, I don't have a swallowing problem with my Barrett's Esophgus nor am I a MD, but If you suffer from GERD, why would your Dr propose to loosen the lower sphincter which would cause more GERD? Do you have any Barrett's currently? and Dysplasia? Good luck with your decisions.
Dave

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@ryman, you may also be interested in reading the experiences with botox in this discussion on Connect https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/botox-injections-placed-near-and-or-around-the-pyloric-sphincter/

From what I understand, botox injections are not a permanent solution and repeat injections do not always produce the same results. I would ask your doctor about that and what long-term solution might be an option for you.

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For those of you who experience difficulties with swallowing because of a narrowing of the esophagus, you might find this discussion about Esophageal Self Dilation interesting and/or helpful.
https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/gastroenterology-and-gi-surgery/newsfeed/esophageal-self-dilation-therapy-an-effective-alternative/

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@ryman

I haven’t posted in awhile. I have a swallowing problem which is getting worse. I suppose the next step is a feeding tube but I am not sure I want that. I have had botox in my esaphagus which made things worse. I have had a heart pacemaker put in that had to be redone, and I have had cataract surgery and am still having eye problems. So I am not sure of any more surgeries of any kind. I am 77 so maybe it is just time to let go.

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No @ryman – don't give up. My husband was 76 when his swallowing issues became so bad that we asked his PCP for a referral. The GI doctor found that he had a Zinker's diverticulm. I think it may be kind of unusual, but it was practically blocking his whole esophagus. He had an endoscopy and they removed the tissue that was causing problems. We were thrilled with the results. He only wishes he'd done it years sooner. Have you had a GI consult? If not, I would definitely do it. You still have the option to not have surgery if you don't want it, but I think it would be worthwhile to find out what is causing the swallowing problem. Best of luck… please keep us posted.

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@ryman

I haven’t posted in awhile. I have a swallowing problem which is getting worse. I suppose the next step is a feeding tube but I am not sure I want that. I have had botox in my esaphagus which made things worse. I have had a heart pacemaker put in that had to be redone, and I have had cataract surgery and am still having eye problems. So I am not sure of any more surgeries of any kind. I am 77 so maybe it is just time to let go.

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@ryman If you still feel relatively good, then never say "maybe it is just time to let go". That sounds like a great suggestion from @debbraw. If that can help it would be wonderful. A GI consult definitely sounds like it should be on your agenda.
JK

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I haven’t posted in awhile. I have a swallowing problem which is getting worse. I suppose the next step is a feeding tube but I am not sure I want that. I have had botox in my esaphagus which made things worse. I have had a heart pacemaker put in that had to be redone, and I have had cataract surgery and am still having eye problems. So I am not sure of any more surgeries of any kind. I am 77 so maybe it is just time to let go.

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@ryman

I haven’t posted in awhile. I have a swallowing problem which is getting worse. I suppose the next step is a feeding tube but I am not sure I want that. I have had botox in my esaphagus which made things worse. I have had a heart pacemaker put in that had to be redone, and I have had cataract surgery and am still having eye problems. So I am not sure of any more surgeries of any kind. I am 77 so maybe it is just time to let go.

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Hi @ryman you may have noticed I moved your post to this existing thread you started on botox injection for swallowing problem. I did this so that your discussion revolving this topic could be located in one place. Simply click VIEW & REPLY in your email notification to get to your post.

I want to thank @debbraw and @contentandwell for responding to your post. How long since you have had the injection? It looks like in your past posts you were going to have it around April of last year? Is that correct? You also said it made things worse, is this beyond the normal initial side effects?

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@ryman

I haven’t posted in awhile. I have a swallowing problem which is getting worse. I suppose the next step is a feeding tube but I am not sure I want that. I have had botox in my esaphagus which made things worse. I have had a heart pacemaker put in that had to be redone, and I have had cataract surgery and am still having eye problems. So I am not sure of any more surgeries of any kind. I am 77 so maybe it is just time to let go.

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Hello. I just read your post. Please go to the discussion on achalasia and POEM procedures on this site. I had this procedure in January. Have you received an official diagnosis of your swallowing issue? Please don’t give up on fixing this problem. I had the same issue and my procedure was successful. All the best.

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