Botox for Bellies in Kids

May 14, 2019

Patients with specific gastrointestinal (GI) conditions are now able to address them with an unexpected treatment – Botox.

Dr. Amana Nasir, pediatric gastroenterologist with Mercy Clinic Kids GI, is one of only a few doctors in the nation to use this treatment for pediatric patients in both the stomach and the rectum for various issues.

“For kiddos with poor stomach emptying, it’s like blocked traffic that backflows and causes pressure and reflux issues - the food can’t make it to the stomach,” Nasir explained. “Kids then have pain, nausea, bloating, vomiting and invariably weight loss from inability to move nutrients in the correct direction.”

Dr. Nasir's patient, Bethany Pettus, shares her story of how Botox helps her live a more normal life.

The previous treatment option, after medication failure, was invasive surgery. The Botox injection works by making the tissue relax so food can empty out better, or as she said, "we open the door a little for food to flow.” 

In the majority of cases, injection treatment may need to be repeated, but for patients with ongoing chronic illnesses this is a less invasive approach and may act as a bridge to future stomach pacemaker placement.

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