Jefferson University Hospitals

Digestive Health Institute

Gastrointestinal Motility Program

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Jefferson's Gastrointestinal Motility Program offers a broad range of advanced diagnostic capabilities to help accurately diagnose motility disorders. The Program has a proven track record of performing reliable testing for a large volume of patients.

What is Gastrointestinal Motility?

Gastrointestinal motility is the synchronized movement of the muscles of the digestive tract, which pushes food through your digestive system. Gastrointestinal dysmotility, or a motility disorder, occur when the muscles no longer function as they should, and can cause a range of symptoms. Motility disorders can affect any part of the digestive tract, including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and anal sphincter. We offer testing to pinpoint the source of your symptoms.

Our expert multidisciplinary team, including gastroenterologists, dieticians, surgeons, and physical therapists, has a proven track record of treating patients with complex motility disorders. Some of the conditions we treat include esophageal motility disorders, chronic intestinal pseudoobstruction, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, pelvic floor dysfunction and more.

GI Motility Testing

  • Anorectal Manometry: Detects problems with bowel movements. This test evaluates the strength and reflexes of the anal sphincter and rectal nerves, helping us treat conditions such as fecal incontinence, dyssynergic defecation, Hirschsprung disease.
  • Bravo Esophageal pH Testing: Detects problems with reflux. This capsule-based test measures the amount of acid reflux into the esophagus over 48 to 96 hours, helping us treat conditions such as GERD and noncardiac chest pain.
  • Breath Testing (Lactulose, Lactose, Fructose): Detects problems with abdominal bloating and change in bowel habits. These tests help identify specific types of intolerances, helping us treat conditions such as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, lactose intolerance, and fructose intolerance.
  • Breath Testing (H pylori): Detects H pylori infection of the stomach.
  • EndoFLIP: Detects problems with swallowing. This test performed during endoscopy measures the pressure and size of gastrointestinal organs, helping us treat conditions such as achalasia, esophageal strictures, gastroparesis, and eosinophilic esophagitis.
  • Endoscopy: We use a thin tube with a camera to see detailed images of the upper and lower GI tract and to take biopsies. This test helps us treat a wide range of motility disorders.
  • Esophageal pH-Impedance Testing: Detects problems with reflux. This catheter-based test measures the amount of acid and non-acid reflux into the esophagus over 24 hours, helping us treat conditions such as GERD and noncardiac chest pain.
  • High-Resolution Esophageal Manometry: Detects problems with swallowing. This test evaluates the movement and function of the esophagus, helping us treat conditions such as achalasia, esophageal spasm, and Jackhammer esophagus.
  • Fluoroscopic Defecography: Detects problems with bowel movements. This test is performed in the radiology department and helps us treat conditions such as rectal prolapse, rectocele, and enterocele.
  • Gastric Emptying Study: Detects problems with stomach emptying. This test is performed in the radiology department and helps us treat conditions such as dyspepsia and gastroparesis.
  • MR Defecography: Detects problems with bowel movements. This test is performed in the radiology department and helps us treat conditions such as dyssynergic defecation, rectal prolapse, and rectocele.
  • Sitz Marker Study: Detects problems with constipation. This test is performed in the radiology department and helps us treat conditions such as slow transit constipation and dyssynergic defecation.

Endoscopic Treatments

  • Esophageal dilation: A procedure where we stretch out a narrowing in the esophagus.
  • Esophageal botulinum toxin injection: A procedure where we inject botulinum toxin into the esophagus to help it function properly, typically used for patients with achalasia, EGJ outflow obstruction, or distal esophageal spasm.
  • Pyloric botox injection: A procedure where we inject botulinum toxin into the stomach to help it empty properly, typically used for patients with gastroparesis.
  • POEM: A procedure where we cut the muscle at the bottom of the esophagus to help it function properly, typically used for patients with achalasia, EGJ outflow obstruction, or distal esophageal spasm.
  • G-POEM: A procedure where we cut the pylorus muscle in the stomach to help it empty properly, typically used for patients with gastroparesis.

Program Leadership