The Gastric Pacer or gastric pacemaker (gastric stimulator) is a small battery with microchip contained in a metal casing, has small dimensions and weighs 55 grams. It was conceived by Dr. Valerio Cigaina with the aim of treating great obesity. The operation is performed laparoscopically, the Gastric Pacer is introduced into a subcutaneous pocket in the left half of the abdominal wall, the lead instead is introduced into the thickness of the stomach wall. After surgery, the stomach receives electrical signals that cause contractions and pressures that increase satiety.
The Gastric Pacer must be kept all its life, the battery life is about 5 years if it is not used continuously but programmed off and on again.
The first treatment in the world with grastric pacer as a therapy for severe obesity was performed in Venice-Mestre at the Umberto I hospital in 1995.
It is suggested to reduce nutrition, not to eat between meals, not to drinking alcohol and high-calorie drinks.
No side effects were reported, all patients responded with stunting, most of them achieved excellent weight loss.
The patient subjected to gastric stimulation feels the sense of satiety early and more lasting, this allows him to feed properly, eating the right quantities of food and allows him not to feel the stimulus of hunger between one meal and another. The direct consequence of this new balance given by the Gastric Pacer is weight loss, moreover gastric stimulation does not induce the metabolism to slow down and decrease during the treatment as it happens in diet therapy and gastrorestrictive surgical therapy, on the contrary there is an increase.
To work at its best, the Gastric Pacer must be periodically “adjusted”, the procedure is totally painless for the patient, but necessary; with the adjustment, the doctor programs the Gastric Pacer adapting its parameters to the patient’s clinical situation. On average, the time between one modulation and the next is about one month.
can be performed in laparoscopy does not modify neither the physiology nor the functionality of the digestive system does not cause a sense of heaviness, gastric pain or vomiting does not cause complications from malabsorption pathology moderate weight loss good weight stabilization and excellent distance maintenance
not it is covered by the national health service frequent and periodic adjustments of the stimulation parameters to optimize its functioning and consequently the weight loss
COMPLICATIONS AND OPERATOR / POST OPERATOR RISKS:
– The anesthetic risk, the higher the more severe the degree of obesity,
– Blood clots (embolism),
– Cardiac arrhythmia and heart attack (following anesthesia in the post-operative period)
– Hematoma formation (collections or spills of blood) near or in correspondence of the cuts (laparoscopic or laparotomic),
– Difficulty in wound healing, wound infections, ruptures of the abdominal wall sutures.
(Complications that can occur as in any type of surgery under general anesthesia).
POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS RELATED TO THE GASTRIC PACER:
– Infection due to the presence of the IGS or the lead
– Skin erosion by the IGS
– Migration of the lead into the stomach
– Failures of the electrical circuits of the IGS
– Failures or damage to the lead
– Occasional or persistent pain in the vicinity of the
– in pregnancy it is necessary to switch off the Gastric Pacer until after delivery
– alteration of the stimulation parameters could derive from exposure to strong electromagnetic fields
– it is absolutely forbidden to undergo magnetic resonance imaging (if necessary, the pacemaker must be removed)
– need to switch off the pacemaker in case of dental treatment using electrosurgical units to avoid damaging the battery
– incompatibility between the presence of a cardiac pacemaker and a gastric pacemaker.