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Tailored approach to gastroparesis significantly improves symptoms

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Gastroparesis is difficult to treat and many patients do not report relief of symptoms with medical therapy alone. Several operative approaches have been described. This study shows the results of our selective surgical approach for patients with gastroparesis.

Materials and methods

This is a retrospective study of prospective data from our electronic medical record and data symptom sheet. All patients had a pre-operative gastric emptying study showing gastroparesis, an esophagogastroduodenoscopy, and either a CT or an upper GI series with small bowel follow-through. All patients had pre- and post-operative symptom sheets where seven symptoms were scored for severity and frequency on a scale of 0–4. The scores were analyzed by a professional statistician using paired sample t test.


58 patients met inclusion criteria. 33 had gastric stimulator (GES), 7 pyloroplasty (PP), 16 with both gastric stimulator and pyloroplasty (GSP), and 2 sleeve gastrectomy. For patients in the GSP group, the second procedure was performed if there was inadequate improvement with the first procedure. There was no mortality. The follow-up period was 6–316 weeks (mean 66.107, SD 69.42). GES significantly improved frequency and severity for all symptoms except frequency of bloating and postprandial fullness. PP significantly improved nausea and vomiting severity, frequency of nausea, and early satiety. Symptom improvement for GSP was measured from after the first to after the second procedure. GSP significantly improved all but vomiting severity and frequency of early satiety, postprandial fullness, and epigastric pain.


All procedures significantly improved symptoms, although numbers are small in the PP group. GES demonstrates more improvement than PP, and if PP or GES does not adequately improve symptoms GSP is appropriate. In our practice, gastrectomy was reserved as a last resort.

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Correspondence to Lauren E. Arthur.

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Drs. Arthur, Richardson, and L Slattery have no conflicts of interest or financial ties to disclose.

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Arthur, L.E., Slattery, L. & Richardson, W. Tailored approach to gastroparesis significantly improves symptoms. Surg Endosc 32, 977–982 (2018).

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