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J Am Coll Surg. 2014 Apr;218(4):652-60. doi: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2013.12.024. Epub 2013 Dec 24.

Efficacy of laparoscopic pyloroplasty for the treatment of gastroparesis.

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Emory Endosurgery Unit. Department of Surgery, Emory University, Atlanta, GA.
Emory Endosurgery Unit. Department of Surgery, Emory University, Atlanta, GA. Electronic address:



The modest results of nonoperative modalities for the treatment of gastroparesis necessitate greater consideration of surgical therapies. However, the role of surgery is not well defined. The aim of this study is to present our experience with laparoscopic pyloroplasty as early treatment for gastroparesis.


Fifty patients with refractory gastroparesis underwent laparoscopic pyloroplasty (hand-sewn Heineke-Mikulicz configuration) from 2006 to 2013 at our institution. Preoperative and postoperative symptom data, gastric emptying scintigraphy, and technical outcomes of the procedure were reviewed. A single-factor ANOVA was performed for the comparison of continuous variables. Results are reported as mean ± SD or median absolute deviation.


Thirty-four of 50 (68%) patients had previous foregut procedures and/or cholecystectomy. Thirty-two of 50 (64%) patients underwent concomitant procedures (ie, paraesophageal hernia repair and gastrostomy takedown) along with the pyloroplasty. Operative time, including combined procedures, blood loss, and length of stay were 175 ± 56 minutes, 64 ± 50 mL, 2.5 ± 2.7 days, respectively. There were no conversions to open technique or intraoperative complications. There were no suture-line leaks. The readmission rate was 14%. All patients had symptom follow-up and 33 (66%) had postoperative gastric emptying scintigraphy. Postoperative symptom improvement was reported by 82% of the patients (p < 0.001). Median preoperative T1/2 was 180 ± 73 minutes and postoperative T1/2 was 60 ± 23 minutes (p < 0.001). Five patients (10%), who had normalized postoperative T1/2 times, required other gastric emptying procedures; distal gastrectomy (n = 2), duodenojejunostomy (n = 2), and gastric stimulator placement (n = 1).


Laparoscopic pyloroplasty is an effective early-treatment modality for selected cases of gastroparesis, with substantial improvement in objective gastric emptying times and low morbidity. The laparoscopic approach does not preclude subsequent procedures when necessary.

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