Motility refers to the movement of food through the digestive tract, from your child’s mouth to anus. Motility problems can cause abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, vomiting and other symptoms, and can be extremely difficult for children and parents. St. Christopher’s GI Motility Diagnostic Center takes a child-centered, multidisciplinary approach toward motility problems and functional gastrointestinal disorders. This team approach involves nutritional counseling, social work and nursing. At St. Christopher’s, you’ll have access to a Motility Lab as part of our Endoscopy Suite, with state-of-the-art equipment to diagnose and treat your child.
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Anorectal manometry is a test in which a small, soft, flexible tube is placed into the rectum. A tiny balloon is attached to the end of the tube. This balloon is filled with small amounts of air to measure how your child's muscles and nerves work inside the rectum. Anorectal manometry is usually done to help understand why your child may have constipation, stool accidents or other bowel problems.
Esophageal manometry is a test in which doctors place a small, flexible tube into your child’s nose and through your child’s esophagus to assess how well the esophagus is working. An esophageal manometry can help to understand why your child may have symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, chest pain or gastroesophageal reflux.
These tests are not painful, but, if needed, medicine may be used to help your child relax. The results of these tests can help us understand what treatments will work for your child.
An impedance study is used to find out if contents from your child’s stomach are coming up into the esophagus. A thin, flexible tube is passed through your child’s nose, down the back of the throat and into the esophagus. The tube is carefully taped into place on your child's cheek and attached to a monitor.
An impedance study takes 18–24 hours, during which time you’ll be asked to keep a diary of your child's activity. The doctor will use the diary to compare the computer reading with your child's activity. An impedance study can help evaluate acid and non-acid gastroesophageal reflux.
BRAVO is a catheter-free pH-monitoring capsule. A BRAVO placement, combined with an upper endoscopy, is used to examine your child’s esophagus, stomach, and the beginning of the small intestine. BRAVO can help determine if acid from the stomach is coming up into the esophagus. In this procedure, the doctor performs an endoscopy and also clips a small recording device called a BRAVO capsule to the esophagus to record acid for 48 hours. With this procedure, there is no need to keep a tube through the nose. Reflux is treatable, and the results of this test will help determine which treatment will work for your child.