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G-POEM Procedure

G-POEM Procedure for Gastroparesis Treatment

G-POEM procedure is a minimally invasive technique that uses endoscopic technology to treat individuals with gastroparesis.

Gastroparesis is the paralysis of the stomach or a stomach that empties slowly. Normally, the vagus nerve (the nerve that regulates the function of the internal organs including digestion) helps contract the stomach to move food into the small intestine. When an individual has gastroparesis, it means the vagus nerve is not functioning well, hence food does not move as intended.

The G-POEM procedure is used to relax an individual’s pylorus, the valve between the stomach and small vowel, which is not working properly, and as a result make it functional once again.

Symptoms of Gastroparesis

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Heartburn

Preparation for the G-POEM Procedure

72 hours prior to the procedure date, the patient must go nil by mouth except for liquids, hence no solid food. However, the patient must not eat or drink anything from midnight the night before the procedure.

Additionally, the patient might need to stop some medications they may be on before the test as advised by the doctor. This is to avoid any complications during the procedure.

Before the procedure commences, the patient will be requested to change into a hospital gown then taken to the preparation area. The doctor or nurse will then give the patient an anesthetic intravenously.

The G-POEM Procedure

During the procedure, the patient will be under general anesthesia, which means he/she will not feel anything. The entire procedure can take around an hour and a half from start to finish.

While the patient is still under the general anesthesia, the doctor will use a thin, flexible tube to go down into the throat and stomach. An incision is made, and a tunnel is created between the layers of the stomach in order to reach the tight pyloric muscle. An incision known as myotomy is then performed on the muscle. Myotomy is a permanent cut that creates an opening for food to pass freely into the small intestine.

After the Procedure

After the procedure, the patient will not be able to eat or drink at all for the rest of the day. This will help in the healing of the cut made in the lining of the stomach.

Day 1: A day after the procedure the patient will have a CT scan after drinking a liquid that coats his/her stomach lining to show up on the scan. If the test appears ok, the patient will be allowed to have liquids, starting with water then gradually to thicker fluids, and eventually solid food after some time, as recommended by the doctor.

Possible Risk Factors of G-POEM Procedure

Just like any other procedure performed in a hospital setting, the G-POEM procedure may present some possible risks, which can be rare, but can be controlled.

 

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