Gastroparesis is a stomach disorder that afflicts more than 1.5 million Americans. An estimated 25 percent of the approximately 15.7 million diabetics in the United States have or will develop the stomach disorder. Approximately 100,000 Americans suffer from a severe form of gastroparesis. How many of these patients are in your care or have been in your care? Unfortunately, standard medication fails to relieve the debilitating symptoms adequately in approximately 30,000 of these patients, who continue to experience severe, chronic nausea and vomiting that can lead to dehydration and malnutrition. Because of their inability to keep food down, these severely affected patients often require nutritional support intravenously or through feeding tubes to stay alive.
Enterra Therapy is a new treatment option for people afflicted with chronic nausea and vomiting associated with gastroparesis that cannot be adequately controlled with standard medication. It involves electrical stimulation of the lower stomach (antrum) via a full Implantable pacemaker-like system that consists of two unipolar intramuscular leads and a neurostimulator. The advanced minimally invasive laparoscopic technique is the surgical procedure of choice.
The results of WAVESS (Worldwide Anti-Vomiting Electrical Stimulation Study), a Medtronic-sponsored clinical trial, show that Enterra Therapy successfully reduces symptoms of nausea and vomiting in patients with gastroparesis that could not be adequately controlled with standard medication. Comparing 12 month after implant to baseline:
- 93% of patients experienced a reduction of vomiting episodes greater than 50%.
- 66% of patients experienced a reduction of vomiting episodes greater than 80%.
Patients in the study also experienced improvements in other upper gastrointestinal symptoms, including:
- Better solid food intake
- A reduction in hypoglycemic attacks among diabetics
- Improvements in health-related quality of life