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September 1965

Electrical Stimulation of the BowelA Controlled Clinical Study

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Tufts University, and First (Tufts) Surgical Service, Boston City Hospital. Formerly Chief Resident, First (Tufts) Surgical Service (Dr. Moran). Associate Professor of Surgery, Tufts University, and Associate Director, First (Tufts) Surgical Service (Dr. Nabseth). Dr. Moran is now at Hawkmoor Chest Hospital, Bovey Tracey, Devon, England.

Arch Surg. 1965;91(3):449-451. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1965.01320150079011

IN THE wake of clinical success with cardiac pacing, interest has arisen in electrical stimulation of other muscular organs, such as the uterus for treatment of atony in childbirth, the bladder for urinary retention, and the intestine for paralytic ileus. Gastrointestinal pacing has been the subject of recent experimental work1,2 and a pacemaker has become commercially available.2 The purpose of the present report is to record our experiences with gastrointestinal pacing in a controlled clinical study of patients on a general surgical service.

Methods  The stimulating device used in this study consists of an electrode near the intragastric end of a No. 16 plastic nasogastric tube, connected by an insulated wire to a battery powered stimulator providing 10 ma of current at 50 cycles per second for five seconds each minute. An indifferent electrode also connected to the stimulator was taped to the lower abdominal wall to include

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