Gastroparesis Treatment & Surgery

What is gastroparesis?
Gastroparesis treatment overview
What is Enterra® Therapy?
What is the surgical procedure for implanting the gastric electric stimulator?
Schedule an appointment

Gastroparesis treatment overview

Gastroparesis treatment options for both diabetic and non-diabetic patients include:

  • Oral medications
  • Changes in diet and eating habits
  • Enterra® Therapy
  • In severe cases, feeding tubes and intravenous feeding

Gastroparesis treatment for diabetic patients may assist in controlling blood glucose levels and allow for changes in insulin type and timing of injections.

Gastroparesis Webisode
Becky found treatment for gastroparesis at the Temple Digestive Disease Center — one of only five locations in the country designated by the National Institutes of Health to study gastroparesis. Watch Becky's video:


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What is Enterra® Therapy?

Enterra® Therapy is an innovative gastroparesis treatment that has been approved by the FDA as a humanitarian use device when conventional drug therapies for gastroparesis are not effective. The device is called a gastric electric stimulator.

Enterra® Therapy uses mild electrical pulses to stimulate the lower stomach (antrum). It is a fully implantable system that consists of two unipolar intramuscular leads (thin wires) and a neurostimulator. Because the neurostimulator can be turned on or off, the physician can terminate Enterra® Therapy.

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What is the surgical procedure for implanting the gastric electric stimulator?

A physician, most often a gastroenterologist, may prescribe Enterra® Therapy if drug therapy is not an effective gastroparesis treatment. The treatment is performed under general anesthesia and involves two steps: implant and post-implant.

Implant: stimulation is delivered with an implanted medical device consisting of a stimulator, which is similar in size and function to a cardiac pacemaker, and two leads with electrodes at one end.

Implantation is performed under general anesthesia and can range from one to three hours. Using laparoscopy or laparotomy, the surgeon fixes the electrodes to the wall of the stomach. The connector of each lead is attached to a neurostimulator, also know as a gastric electric stimulator, which is placed in the abdominal wall, under the patient’s skin.

After this type of surgery for gastroparesis, most patients spend one to five nights in the hospital before returning home, depending on their medical condition.

Post-implant: following implant, the stimulator is turned on. Adjustments to the stimulation of the stomach wall can be made non-invasively in an outpatient setting to optimize therapy for each patient. Follow-up exams to monitor the therapy’s effectiveness may vary in frequency from six to twelve months.

Patients should speak with their physician before undergoing surgery for gastroparesis to ensure that they fully understand the procedure, including the risks, and what to expect afterward.

Our world-renowned gastroparesis specialists:

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Schedule an appointment

To learn more about gastroparesis treatments, schedule an appointment with a Temple Digestive Disease Center Physician by clicking here or calling 1-800-TEMPLE-MED [1-800-836-7536].

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Sources:

Used with permission of Medtronic, Inc.

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