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Gastrointestinal Motility Program

The Gastrointestinal Motility Program, located at 40 Temple Street, is a multidisciplinary program that brings together a team of eight gastroenterologists, surgeons, pathologists and radiologists to provide the latest diagnostic and treatment services to patients with hard-to-diagnose gastrointestinal disorders.

  • Achalasia (difficulty swallowing food)
  • Gastroesophageal reflux (heartburn)
  • Gastroparesis (weak stomach)
  • Intestinal pseudoobstruction (abdominal bloating and pain)
  • Fecal incontinence
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
  • Constipation

The motility program offers:

The Bravo pH Monitoring System, a catheter-free instrument that measures acidity levels in patients suspected of having gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). A small capsule is attached to the wall of the esophagus. It transmits data to a pager-sized receiver, which is worn by the patient for 48 hours. During the test, the patient pushes a button whenever he or she experiences symptoms, so doctors can see if the symptoms correlate with episodes of acid reflux. When the test is over, data from the receiver is downloaded to pH analysis software, where it is analyzed.

The SmartPill Capsule, a new technology available at only about a dozen medical centers around the country. The ingestible, wireless capsule measures pressure, pH and temperature as it moves through the GI tract, allowing physicians to identify where abnormalities in intestinal transit are located. The SmartPill transmits information to a data receiver worn by the patient. After the capsule has passed from the body, the patient returns the receiver to the physician, who is able to display and analyze the data within minutes.

Impedance monitoring is a catheter-based system that enables doctors to diagnose non-acid reflux. The patient wears the monitoring system for 24 hours, and pushes a button whenever he or she experiences symptoms. Physicians then download and analyze the data to determine whether the reflux is acidic or non-acidic and whether the symptoms correlate with incidents of reflux.

Other motility tests offered by the program include:

  • High-resolution esophageal manometry for evaluation of swallowing difficulty
  • Anorectal manometry with biofeedback for the evaluation and treatment of constipation and fecal incontinence
  • Hydrogen breath testing for the diagnosis of bacterial overgrowth