Not Just For Frown Lines, Botox Jabs Can Save Heart Patients Too
So what’s the latest in heart surgery? Needles and Botox injections. True Story. (Photo: iStock)
So what’s the latest in heart surgery? Needles and Botox injections. True Story. (Photo: iStock)

Not Just For Frown Lines, Botox Jabs Can Save Heart Patients Too

The wrinkle-reducing wonder drug or the freaky facial poison; that’s Botox for you depending on which side of the battle you are on. The face-freezing frenzy which kicked off when Botox was approved by the US FDA in 2002, is now a culture force that has changed the way the rich-and-the-famous age today.

And Botox has gone through more reinventions than Madonna since it first hit the medical scene in 1989 in Canada. From treating migraines, cerebral palsy, drooling problems, sweating issues, anal fissures to muscle spasms, there is so much more to this anti-wrinkle zapper than just marbleising the facial skin.

In the latest, doctors from the American Heart Association have found that Botox injected around the heart after a bypass surgery can prevent the most common post-surgery complication, arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat which affects one-third patients.

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How Botox Smoothens the Heartbeats

Arrhythmia affect more than a million Indians every year and if left untreated it can lead to kidney damage, stroke and is even fatal in some conditions.

Botox is the magic bullet of the 21st century - its medical uses are so ingrained in medical culture that some doctors feel it should be covered by health insurance. (Photo: iStock)
Botox is the magic bullet of the 21st century - its medical uses are so ingrained in medical culture that some doctors feel it should be covered by health insurance. (Photo: iStock)

The study was done by scientists in Russia on 60 bypass patients, half of them were randomly given saline injections post the surgery and the other half were injected with the wonder drug Botox to ease out the complications. All these patients had a history of arrhythmia’s before surgery and were considered high-risk for new episodes.

In the first month after the surgery, only 7% of those who got the Botox jabs developed irregular heartbeats in comparison to the 30% of those given saline.

One year after surgery, none of those who got Botox had the rhythm problem, but 30% of those who were given saline developed the condition.

The findings have got cardiologists around the world excited because till now there were very few effective options to treat irregular heartbeats.

Arrhythmia’s always mean long hospitalisations, increased costs and heavy medication. This study has opened a whole new line of thinking and research. In the near future, we believe all forms of arrhythmia’s will be treated the Botox way, but we’re not quite there yet.

Dr Jonathan Steinberg, Senior Study Author

The study involved a small number of patients so the technique will have to be tested in a larger group of those undergoing an open heart surgery.

But the results are very encouraging for addressing one of the major complications of bypass surgery. And one thing is clear: Botox is surely medicine’s answer to duct tape!

Also Read: 7 Facts About Your Heart They Didn’t Teach You in Biology Class

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