June 20, 2012

Gastric pacemakers are becoming more accessible

Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg is the only Swedish hospital with the ability to treat delayed gastric emptying, Gastroparesis, with a so-called gastric pacemaker. Hans Abrahamsson, professor in gastroenterology at Sahlgrenska performed the first treatment with a gastric pacemaker in 1995 and electrical stimulation of the stomach has proved to be a very efficient way to treat diabetics with issues such as chronic vomiting and nausea.

Although the treatment has proven to be successful in most cases, it does not work för all patients. Therefore, Sahlgrenska University Hospital has developed a method where a gastric pacemaker is temporarely attached on the outside of the patient’s stomach, and tested during a trial period. Another upside from this, apart from the benefit of avoiding unnecessary surgeries, is that non-diabetic patients but with similar problems are able to go through the trial period and become subjects for a permanent gastric pacemaker solution if it turns out to remedy the problems.

So far, Dr. Jan Brun, specialist within gastroenterology, consider the gastric pacemarker solution to be underutilized in relation to the number of people that could benefit from the treatment. Sahlgrenska I.C. has been able to convey the treatment to a number of foreign patients. If you would like to know more about the treatment process for foreign patients in general, visit our Patient information site or contact one of our coordinators for more specific information regarding the gastric pacemaker treatment.

You can also click here to listen to a radio interview with Dr. Jan Brun (in Swedish – about ten minutes into the clip).

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