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stomach pacemaker


sallyann
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Guest Julia59

Sallyann,

A young woman from our local support group had a pace maker installed into her abdomin in 2002---I think----it might have been a little earlier.

She had it put in at the Cleveland Clinic. She said it worked out really well, and her gastric motility improved which of course lessened the nausia.

I haven't talked with her recently, so i'm not sure how she is doing now.

Julie :0)

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No but i was wondering the same thing. I talk on a support group on yahoogroups for gastroparesis and there are some that got the pacemaker. Some had good reports and some it didn't help. Some it stopped the vomiting but didn't help the nausea.

I wish I could be more help but I know they could help you there

Dayna

Are you just researching or are you getting a pacer ?

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sallyann -

i have looked into them and also have a friend that has one (who i'm 99% sure is the same person julie's referring to as the young woman from her support group).

i know that they have been a good thing for some but they are by no means an easy fix.

it did help my friend a lot at first, and still is probably a helpful thing overall, but there have been problems too, directly and indirectly related. she's had some problems with the leads slipping, etc. and causing major pain.

and another major issue to consider - one that has been an issue for her (to the point of hospitalization at times) and one that i would have to consider greatly - is that the pacer deals only with the stomach...not any other part of the GI tract. thus, if your motility is really slow elsewhere it won't help that at all. thus my friend has had major problems with bowel obstruction, etc.

the "qualifying standards" for the implant is also pretty strict, although more and more places are doing it. it had no connection with the unit i stayed on, but there was actually an article on the pacers in the vanderbilt med newsletter when i was there in may. i know temple does them as well.

one thing of note is that in order to be approved to get one the docs have to be pretty darn certain that the nausea/vomiting is due to gastroparesis, rather than of other origins. the reasoning being that otherwise the pacer wouldn't help at all anyway.

here's the link from the actual company who makes the pacers:

http://www.medtronic.com/neuro/enterra/

and one from temple telling of some successes:

http://www.temple.edu/temple_times/2-1-01/pacer.html

obviously both these sources have their own slants so read with a grain of salt!

hope this helps...

:-)melissa

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melissa

thank you so much! i definitly dont want to solve one problem and create others.i think all of us have enough to deal with. i am not sure what gastroparesis is .i will look that up now.i need to find a good gi that is close to my area ,i traveled a great distance to see the last one,and i cannot afford to keep traveling back and forth .thanks for the links.

sallyann

Edited by Sunfish
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Hi, I had a GI pacemaker put in May of 2004. It has helped alot with the vomiting and nausea, sad thing is it is not very common at all. Only people that are really close to me know that I have it. Going to different Drs. since then when I have to tell someone there like you have what. Why? What does it do? They have never heard of such a thing. We tried all the meds that could possibly help first either I got sick or they just didn't help. I still have mixed feelings on it.. Can't change it now. Feel free to post back and I can even give you my email address. I read the posts alot just haven't been very involved. My daughter just left for college a few days ago. Missing her big time! Take Care, Becki

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sallyann-

you can find some info on gastroparesis if you search on this site as well as if you search on the internet. there are a number of good links i can get to you too if you're interested.

becki -

i don't think we've met before, so...hello! :rolleyes:

i don't know from the GI pacemaker side of things, but definitely have had many a doctor visit where i'm having to explain things they're clueless about. at my last appt with a new urologist he kept asking me "why" i had the autonomic issues, i.e. did i have this or that or this or that....his experience with autonomic problems had only been with people with other underlying issues, i.e. spinal cord injury, spina bifada, etc. i told him that if he could figure it out for me - beyond the neuropathy "answer" - that he'd get a prize!

anyway...i have two questions for you. first i am just curious where you had the pacemaker implanted? second & more important i'm curious as to whether you had/have GI motility issues other than your stomach, i.e. small/large intestines

and how that has been affected by the pacer?

thanks,

:-)melissa

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becky.

i am so sorry you are missing yor daughter, i only have one daughter,and we are very close, she will be applying to colleges this year and that makes me proud , but also very sad,i know itmust be so hard to let her go.i wish her success.

thank you for your info on your pacemaker , iwould definitly like to hear more about it , why do you have mixed feelings about it? what was your dx before the pacemaker? where didyou have it done? i actually had one appt years ago with dr. parkman,the doctor at temple who is well known for the pacemaker,i still have his phone # in my cell phone.

melissa,

i have found quite a bit of info on gastroparesis.i am going to try to get an appt. with dr parkman.ihear it takes quite a while.but hopefully it will be worth it.thanks again

sallyann

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Hi Sallyann, I had the GI pacer done at St. Vincent hospital in Indianapolis, Dr. Thomas Nowak is the GI Dr. that specializes in motility problems. Yes I have also have other motility problems with my colon. I had severe gastropresis, had a difficult time keeping anythin down and lost quite abit of weight. I do eat better on most days, smaller quanitities, but at least it stays down. I guess the part that I have unsure about is that people just don't understand because it is not common so don't really say too much. I lalso have a cardiac pacemaker which I have had for almost 8 years. Guess you could say I am bionic. (HA HA) Guess I just want to be normal whatever that is! Have you had a problem for along time? What medicines have they tried? Hope you have a good day. :P Becki

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Hi Sallyann,  I had the GI pacer done at St. Vincent hospital in Indianapolis,  Dr. Thomas Nowak is the GI Dr. that specializes in motility problems.  Yes I have also have other motility problems with my colon.  I had severe gastropresis,  had a difficult time keeping anythin down and lost quite abit of weight.  I do eat better on most days, smaller quanitities,  but at least it stays down.  I guess the part that I have unsure about is that people just don't understand because it is not common so don't really say too much.  I lalso have a cardiac pacemaker which I have had for almost 8 years.  Guess you could say I am bionic.  (HA HA)  Guess I just want to be normal whatever that is! Have you had a problem for along time?  What medicines have they tried?  Hope you have a good day.    :P  Becki

becki

thankyou yes i have had many problems with my stomach,brfore i was dx i was seeing so many docs because of nausea and vomiting and unable to use the bathroom.its prabably been about 7 years now.i cant remember all of the meds i tried , i would just vomit when i took them , thats why doc finally prescribed zofran under the tongue.sallyann

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hi becki -

thanks for the answers to our questions. it sounds like your symptoms were a lot like mine this past year but at the moment i've thankfully found a good med combo that has allowed me to eat & gain my weight back. of course i know that tomorrow anything could happen, but for now i'm counting my blessings. just for future thoughts/reference, i'm curious as to whether any docs had issues/concerns with your having two pacers...in regard to potential interference? i'm looking at the possibility of a bladder stimulator so am just curious...in case there would be something else in line down the road. of course i'm hoping for none of the above, but like you said...i want to do whatever it takes - within reason - to be as normal as possible!

thanks,

:) melissa

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