Enterra® Therapy, also known as the gastric electrical stimulator (GES), is an implantable device used to help stimulate the smooth muscles of the stomach in patients with refractory gastroparesis who have failed all drug treatment options. It may be placed either laparoscopically or through a laparotomy depending on the need of the patient.
Enterra was approved by the FDA in 2000 for use as a humanitarian device in cases of idiopathic or diabetic Gastroparesis. This means it is only available in certain hospitals which have been reviewed and approved to perform the procedure. Because it is humanitarian in nature, it is often not approved by insurance companies or the approval process can be complicated. Medtronic reps are available to assist in getting patients approved for the procedure.
While the device is not a cure for GP, it does improve nausea and vomiting symptoms in many patients. It does NOT cause the stomach to contract and will not aid digestion. The settings on the device are increased or decreased based on symptom control and patient tolerance. Settings can be adjusted at the physician’s office by an external remote control. Whether improvement is gradual or immediate depends on the patient.
To learn more about Gastroparesis and treatment options, please visit the Medtronic website.