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Botox Provides Aid In New Medical Cases

Botox, a medical tool derived from the botulinum toxin, is known throughout the cosmetic industry as a method of smoothing wrinkles and slowing the aging process, but it has also shown promise in a variety of other medical methods. This includes a recent study which expressed the ability for Botox to assist with post bypass surgery healing. The Mayo Clinic writes: “Botox injections are the best known of a group of medications that use various forms of botulinum toxin to temporarily paralyze muscle activity. This toxin is produced by the microbe that causes botulism, a type of food poisoning. Noted primarily for the ability to reduce the appearance of some facial wrinkles, Botox injections are also used to treat such problems as repetitive neck spasms (cervical dystonia), excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis), overactive bladder and some causes of crossed eyes.”

The newest study regarding heart patients and Botox, has been published in the journal of the American Heart Association, entitled, Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology. The research found that those patients who used Botox treatments following heart surgery, such as a bypass, has more regular heartbeats following the bypass. This type of surgery works by improving circulation and relieving blockages which may be reducing blood flow and oxygen levels to the heart.

Bypass Surgery

The bypass procedure grafts new arteries by using alternative veins to help blood flow resume and to reduce the blockage and the risk of future blockages from occurring. In some cases, a bypass may include more than one of these procedures, making it a single, double, triple, or quadruple bypass surgery. The more grafting that is necessary to treat the condition, the more dangerous the surgery can become, and this can also impact the recovery time as well.

During recovery one of the most commonly seen side effects or ongoing symptoms is a heart arrhythmia. This is an irregular heartbeat, which can be a health hazard if it continues. The Botox study has offered a solution to this problem, making the heartbeat more regular for up to a full year after the surgery. The results varied from individual to individual with some patients still showing symptoms of arrhythmia, but most having far less risk of developing the irregularity.

Latest Research

The new study regarding the effects of Botox on patients recovering from bypass surgery was initiated by Dr. Jonathon Steinberg from the University of Rochester. It showed positive results following the injection of the medicine into each participant, and no negative side effects were seen, although there is always a risk when using Botox. Medical News Today reports: “Botox, or botulinum toxin, is produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria. When a small amount of Botox is injected into a muscle, it blocks nerve signals that tell muscles to contract. Researchers in two Russian hospitals randomly assigned 60 patients to receive Botox or saline injections. Botox was injected into the four major fat pads surrounding the heart. To avoid bias, neither patients nor doctors knew whether the injections contained Botox or saline.”

The results of the treatment have given new hope to patients recovering from bypass surgeries, and offered a new opportunity for research by scientists and physicians. These findings will require ongoing research and further testing to continue improvements in post-surgical procedures of this kind.

Other Medical Uses Of Botox

The botulinum related medicine is used to treat other medical issues as well as the recently discovered uses in post heart surgery. It has been known to stop sweating, being injected into underarms for those who sweat excessively. It also works to reduce twitching and spasms in cervical dystonia, blepharospasm, and strabismus. Medline Plus writes: “Botox injections work by weakening or paralyzing certain muscles or by blocking certain nerves. The effects last about three to twelve months, depending on what you are treating. The most common side effects are pain, swelling, or bruising at the injection site. You could also have flu-like symptoms, headache, and upset stomach. Injections in the face may also cause temporary drooping eyelids. You should not use Botox if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.”

Migraines are one of the major medical reasons for utilizing Botox outside of the cosmetic purposes for which it was initially designed. This is normally only used in extreme situations, where migraine headaches render the sufferer unable to function regularly, and when pain commences for 15 or more straight days. Overactive bladder disorders have also seen promising results from the treatment.

The many uses for the drug are still unknown, with years of research ahead before its full potential is realized. Ongoing studies into the ability Botox has to sooth the heart muscles following surgery is of particular interest to the medical community, broadening the horizon for possible ongoing treatments which could reduce complications or heart attacks in the future. As of now there is no guarantee that Botox will aid in this respect, but new treatments are developing regularly.

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