Gastric Stimulation

Gastric stimulation involves using a pacemaker-like device to stimulate the vagus nerve and affect stomach muscles involved in digestion. The stimulation may make people feel full longer, or change how quickly food passes through the stomach. Gastric stimulation can be used to help control gastroparesis – delayed stomach-emptying of solid food – which causes bloating, distension, nausea and/or vomiting. Gastroparesis may potentially contribute to poor glycemic control in diabetics, and in extreme cases, carries a risk of dehydration or malnutrition. Gastric electrical stimulation may be considered instead of more invasive procedures, such as stomach banding, that are used to treat obesity along with dieting and other measures.

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Similar to the heart, the stomach has electrical activity that orchestrates muscle contractions. Modifying stomach contractions through gastric electrical stimulation (GES) – the equivalent of a gut pacemaker – holds potential for treating not only gastric motor disorders, but also eating disorders . . .


Reviewed November 13, 2017
Jiande Chen, PhD
Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering
Director,  Gastrointestinal Motility Lab
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Last Updated on Monday, April 01, 2019 10:03 PM