Background: Gastroparesis is a chronic gastric motility disorder affecting mostly young and middle-aged women who present with nausea, abdominal pain, early satiety, vomiting, fullness, and bloating.
Methods: From April 1998 to September 2000, 25 patients underwent gastric pacemaker placement. All had documented delayed gastric emptying by a radionucleotide study. Nineteen patients had diabetic gastroparesis, 3 had developed postsurgical gastroparesis, and 3 had idiopathic gastroparesis. Baseline and postoperative follow-ups were done by a self-administered questionnaire on which the patients rated the severity and frequency of nausea and vomiting. Gastric emptying times were also followed up using a radionucleotide technique.
Results: Both the severity and frequency of nausea and vomiting improved significantly at 3 months and was sustained for 12 months. Gastric emptying time was also numerically faster over the 12-month period. Three of the devices have been removed. One patient died of causes unrelated to the pacemaker 10 months postoperatively.
Conclusions: After placement of the gastric pacemaker, patients rated significantly fewer symptoms and had a modest acceleration of gastric emptying.