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Motility Diagnostic Service

The Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center recognizes the importance of motility disorders, and the effects that these disorders have on our patients.

We now have the opportunity to better serve our patients and families with new diagnostic services.  This is the first Pediatric Motility Diagnostic Service in the state of Nebraska, and we are excited to offer this new service.

We are staffed with Physicians who specialize in Gastroenterology, Fellows, Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, and Registered Nurses.

Just as the heart has a pacemaker, the gastrointestinal tract has specialized cells that act as pacemakers throughout the GI tract. These cells rule the rhythm and normal functionality of the GI tract. This is called motility. We specialize in diagnosing and treating the following motility conditions:

  1. Esophageal Achalasia-Patients with esophageal achalasia suffer from swallowing difficulties or painful swallowing.  High resolution esophageal manometry is used to help in diagnosing patients with esophageal achalasia, and other esophageal conditions as well.  We encourage parents to stay with their child during this diagnostic test.
  2. Antroduodenal Disorders-The stomach and small bowel work closely together.  While the stomach facilitates the digestion process by breaking down food, the small bowel is able to absorb the nutrients.  Sometimes, due to congenital or temporary conditions such as viral infections, the stomach and small bowel may not work in a coordinated fashion.  We now have the technology to evaluate how well the stomach and small bowel are working together during fasting and fed states.
  3. Chronic Constipation-Constipation is common during childhood.  In most circumstances, constipation is temporary and secondary to withholding patterns caused by hard, painful stools.  This is easily treated with stool softeners and learning new behaviors.  In other circumstances, children are born with congenital disorders such as Hirschprung’s Disease.  Patients with this condition have a segment of the large intestine (colon) that does not relax, therefore causing chronic constipation.  The best way to diagnose this condition is by obtaining biopsies from the rectum.  We now have the ability to evaluate patients with constipation by using high resolution anorectal monometry (measures pressures in the anus and rectum), and anorectal suction biopsy.

With the addition of these new technologies and procedures, it is our goal to provide high quality, specialized care from the members of our Gastroenterology team.