Temporary Gastric Pacemakers

Temporary Gastric Pacemakers

Gastric Electrical Stimulation

Please see our resources section for more information about gastroparesis.

Enterra (Gastric Electrical Stimulation) was approved by the FDA in 2000 as a Humanitarian Device Exemption for the treatment of patients with chronic, intractable nausea and vomiting secondary to gastroparesis from diabetes or idiopathic (unknown) causes. It involves administering high frequency-low energy stimulation to the natural pacemaker in the greater curvature of the stomach by two electrodes that are placed with the laparoscopic or open technique.

At Connecticut GI, we first attempt to treat patients with gastroparesis with dietary changes and medical therapy. However, if these treatments do not work, we will discuss with patients whether to pursue gastric electrical stimulation.

Patients who meet these criteria are candidates for this therapy:

  • Documented gastroparesis based on 4-hour delayed gastric emptying study.
  • Nausea and vomiting cannot be controlled with antiemetics (anti-vomiting medications) and prokinetics (medications that stimulate the stomach).
  • Intolerance to antiemetics/prokinetics or patient declines to take these medications due to potential side effect profile.

At Connecticut GI, we work in close collaboration with bariatric surgeons who place the device surgically. We also can place a temporary stimulator into the stomach during an upper endoscopy to see if electrical stimulation helps before surgical implantation of the device.

Upper Endoscopy with Temporary Gastric Electrical Stimulation

This procedure enables the physician to visualize your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum. The examination is performed with a thin, flexible instrument and allows your physician to observe for any abnormalities and to take biopsies if required.

Preparation prior to temporary gastric stimulator:

  • Clear liquid diet day before the procedure.
  • Refrain from aspirin, aspirin products, anti-inflammatory medications (such as Advil, Motrin, Aleve) at least 7 days prior to the procedure. You may take Tylenol.
  • Notify your doctor as soon as possible if you are taking blood thinners such as Coumadin or Plavix.
  • If you take a medication for blood pressure, please take it early in the morning of your procedure with just a tiny sip of water.

YOU WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO DRIVE THE ENTIRE DAY OF THE UPPER ENDOSCOPY. Make sure you arrange for transportation home.

You may resume normal activities the day after your procedure; however, please try to avoid getting the electrical stimulator wet.

Many insurance companies have co-pays and/or deductibles for outpatient procedures. Please check with your insurance company to see what your out-of-pocket expenses