Gastroparesis refers to chronically abnormal gastric motility characterized by symptoms suggestive of mechanical obstruction and delayed gastric emptying in the absence of mechanical obstruction. It may be idiopathic or attributable to neuropathic or myopathic abnormalities, such as diabetes mellitus, postvagotomy, postviral infection, and scleroderma. Dietary and behavioral modification, prokinetic drugs, and surgical interventions have been used in managing patients with gastroparesis. Although mild gastroparesis is usually well managed with these treatment options, severe gastroparesis may be very difficult to control and may require referral to a specialist center if symptoms are intractable despite pharmacological therapy and dietetic support. New advances in drug therapy, botulinum toxin injection, and gastric electrical stimulation techniques have been introduced and might provide new hope to patients with refractory gastroparesis. This article critically reviews the advances in the field from the perspective of the clinician.
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