Neurogastroenterology and GI Motility

Neurogastroenterology and GI motility disorders are one of the leading causes of visits to Gastroenterologists.

Any alteration in the transit of gastrointestinal contents and secretions can be considered a motility disorder. These result in loss of coordinated muscular activity in the digestive system in a way that transit time is either hastened or slowed. In addition to diarrhoea, incontinence, and constipation, the manifestations of the motility disorders can include malnutrition, abdominal bloating, severe abdominal pain, gastroesophageal reflux, nausea, and intractable vomiting. In addition to imposing a heavy burden of illness, the GI motility disorders are attended by the decreased quality of life and work productivity, depression, weight loss and isolationism.

These are broadly called FGIDs (Functional Gastro-Intestinal Disorders). The genetic composition and interactions with the environment and one’s own microbiome influence susceptibility to disease, phenotypic expression and, importantly, patient behaviours.

Resources for Patients at AIG Hospitals with Neurogastroenterologic Issues:

  • High-resolution Esophageal Manometry
  • Capsule motility/endoscopy of the stomach, small bowel & colon (Smart Pill)
  • High-resolution anorectal manometry with biofeedback
  • Capsule Endoscopy
  • Esophageal Impedance/pH Evaluations
  • Esophageal 48-hour pHmetry
  • Hydrogen Breath Testing (Glucose, Lactulose)

Other Areas of Expertise Available at Penn Medicine

  • Colorectal Surgery
  • General Surgery
  • Gastric Pacemaker Placement
  • Sacral Nerve Stimulator Placement
  • Fluoroscopic Defecography
  • MRI Defecography
  • MR & CT Enterography
  • Radionuclide Gastric Emptying & Whole Gut Transit Study
  • Psychiatric Consultation
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Nutritional Support
  • Interventional Radiology Devices
  • Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy

Treatment for the motility disorders at AIG Hospitals has the purpose of improving the symptoms of dysmotility, resolving the cause (if possible), and enhancing patient quality of life, sense of well-being, and capacity to engage in everyday activities. A diverse spectrum of treatment is available to the patient with motility disorders