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Temple University Hospital Offering Enhanced Surgical Device for the Treatment of Serious Stomach Disorder

News January 26, 2015

Henry Parkman, MDTemple University Hospital recently became the first hospital in the Philadelphia region to offer the Medtronic Enterra® II System, the latest version of a gastric electrical stimulation therapy used for the treatment of chronic intractable (drug-refractory) nausea and vomiting associated with gastroparesis. While Medtronic Enterra Therapy has been available to patients since 2000, the new Enterra II system provides physicians with greater system flexibility and ease-of-use.

Gastroparesis is a serious stomach disorder with many possible causes, including diabetes, and is characterized by stomach muscles that work poorly or not at all, slowing or stopping the movement of food from the stomach to the small intestine.

"This device is an important option for people suffering from the severe effects of gastroparesis," said Henry P. Parkman, MD, Professor of Medicine at Temple University School of Medicine, and Director of the GI Motility Laboratory at Temple University Hospital. "Temple University Hospital is one of the nation's most comprehensive centers for the diagnosis and treatment of digestive disorders, and we are pleased to be the first in the region to be able to offer this to our patients."

Medtronic Enterra Therapy is for patients 18 to 70 years old and is used when more conservative treatments fail or cannot be tolerated. While the patient is under general anesthesia, the surgeon implants a small medical device called a neurostimulator under the skin, usually in the lower abdominal region. Two insulated wires, called leads, are implanted in the stomach wall muscle and then connected to the neurostimulator, which delivers mild electrical pulses through the leads to stimulate the smooth muscles of the lower stomach.

After the device is implanted, the doctor uses a handheld, external programmer to noninvasively adjust the neurostimulator and customize the stimulation to each patient’s needs. Medtronic Enterra Therapy can be turned on and off at any time using the physician programmer. The patient generally remains in the hospital for 2-3 days after the surgery.

The Enterra II System features an improved user interface for device programming, improvements to the system’s battery-life indicator, and a customized tool that simplifies implantation of the device for physicians.

This device was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration under a humanitarian device exemption.