Just hearing the word "Botox," it has always been associated with cosmetics or a way of rejuvenating that once young face. However, new research found that this surprisingly has a beneficial effect on surgeries, that is, it can help manage regular heartbeat after undergoing bypass surgery.
Statistics reveal that around 10 to 50 percent of patients report irregular heartbeat following the operation. This can be further aggravated in the recovery unit, thus decreasing the chance of survival. With the latest discovery, this age-defying surgery reportedly prevents common complications after a bypass surgery, which includes cardiovascular diseases and kidney failure.
"Atrial fibrillation is also always associated with lengthened hospitalization and that means increased healthcare costs," senior author of the research and director of the Arrythmia Institute at Valley Health System Dr. Jonathan Steinberg said.
In a study in animals, researchers found that Botulinum toxin was able to correct nerves connected to the heart, which changed the electric signals and control the pattern of beating.
To clinically test its effectiveness on humans, scientists together with a team of Russian doctors in two different hospitals randomly administered either a Botox shot or a saline solution to 60 patients waiting for bypass surgery who reported to experience irregularities in their heartbeat. Solution was directly injected around four major fat edges.
A month following the test, there is an estimated 7% chance of experiencing arrhythmia from the Botox group during a bypass surgery; the other group, on the other hand, has a 30% chance. A year post operatively, none of the Botox-injected patients had heartbeat irregularities in comparison with the Saline group's 27%.
However, the study needs further study to a larger sample before it can be a substantial part of post-bypass surgery.
"This first-in-man study has opened a whole new line of thinking and research... In the near future, botox injections may become the standard of care for heart bypass and valve patients, but we're not quite there yet," Steinberg said.
The research is published in the Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology journal of the American Heart Association.