Skip to main content

Gastric Motility Care

AU Health | World-Class Health Care

Gastric Motility Care

Neurogastroenterology is a unique field that treats muscle and nerve problems in the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and colon that stop or slow digestion. The Augusta University Digestive Health Center offers the largest motility clinic in the U.S. — and one of only 10 in the nation designated as a Center of Excellence by the American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society.

Gastric Motility Care

Neurogastroenterology is a unique field that treats muscle and nerve problems in the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and colon that stop or slow digestion. The Augusta University Digestive Health Center offers the largest motility clinic in the U.S. — and one of only 10 in the nation designated as a Center of Excellence by the American Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society.

About Us

When you eat, dozens of muscles and nerves activate to make sure your body can properly break down and move food from your esophagus down to your stomach, small intestine, and colon. If you have a problem with any of these muscles or nerves, you may need the help of a neurogastroenterologist, or motility specialist — a specialty that is only available regionally at Augusta University Digestive Health Center.

The Motility Clinic provides comprehensive care for a broad range of gastric motility disorders including the:

Esophagus

Your esophagus connects your throat to your stomach and allows food to travel to your stomach, you can have many disorders of your esophagus such as:

  • Dysphagia, difficulty swallowing
  • Achalasia, when esophageal muscles don’t work properly, causing food to accumulate in the esophagus
  • Esophageal chest pain, muscle spasms or hypersensitivity in the esophagus
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), chronic heartburn

Stomach and Small Intestine

The muscles of the stomach help break down food with enzymes and acids and move food to the small intestine where nutrients are absorbed.  If there are problems with any part of this process, it can be an indicator of a serious problem such as:

  • Gastroparesis, stomach paralysis
  • Functional dyspepsia, stomach pain not caused by an ulcer
  • Small bowel dysmotility and pseudo-obstruction syndrome, muscle or nerve abnormalities that slow or stop digestion, trapping food
  • Lactose/fructose/fructan intolerance, an “allergy” to these common food products, causing bloating or gas and preventing digestion.
  • Small intestine bacterial overgrowth or fungal overgrowth, a common side effect of stomach or intestinal disorders.
  • Pseudo obstruction syndromes, where nerves or muscles of the intestine do not contract normally, stopping or slowing food, liquids and air from passing through.

Colon (large Intestine)

The colon makes up the last five feet of your digestive system, it is where the leftover waste passes, and water is absorbed, on its way out of your body. Some of the colon problems that our neuorgastorenterologists see are:

  • Constipation or dyssynergic defecation
  • Fecal incontinence, leakage of stool
  • Irritable bowel syndrome, a chronic condition causing cramping, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and gas.
  • Levator ani syndrome, rectal pain caused by muscle spasms.

Many of our diagnostics and treatments are available nowhere else in the region.  Augusta University Health is the pioneer of the translumbar and transsacral motor evoked potential (nerve conduction) test and repetitive translumbar and transsacral magnetic stimulation therapy. These cutting-edge magnetic coil procedures are non-invasive and can test and treat nerve problems in the anus and bowel muscles.

 

Our motility clinic is equipped with the specialists you need to diagnose and treat many motility problems. We can sometimes diagnose and treat you at the same time so that you don’t have to return for another appointment. 

Your motility care is important to us and we will work closely with you to answer any questions you might have. Our expertise allows us to focus in on your health issues and treat them effectively.

Esophagus

When you are having trouble with your esophagus, it can be very unnerving. Our goal is to find out why you are having problems and find a solution that allows you to get back to your life, we do this through specialized:

  • Diagnostics: If you have problems with swallowing or with acid reflux, we use the latest technologies such as EndoFLIP, HREPT and 3-D esophageal manometry to find out what is going on.  We also use recorded pH testing to track acid reflux and balloon distention to test esophageal sensation in patients with non-cardiac chest pain.
  • Treatments: These can include botulinum injections to relax muscles and improve swallowing and balloon dilation, a non-surgical procedure, to widen the esophagus.

Stomach and small intestine

Stomach and intestinal problems can cause discomfort and pain if things are not moving correctly through your digestive system.  We offer:

  • Diagnostics: To find out how your stomach or small intestine muscles are working we use a variety of studies including the gastric barostat study and astric-duodenal manometry study.  We can also test for bacterial overgrowth to confirm digestion issues using a hydrogen breath test.
  • Treatments: Can include botulinum injections to relax stomach muscles for patients with paralyzed stomach. We also offer enterra therapy; an implantation of a gastric pacemaker for patients with chronic nausea and vomiting associated with gastroparesis.

Colon and large intestine

Motility problems of the colon can be distressing and embarrassing.  Our experts provide cutting edge diagnostics and treatments for colon issues to give you back your confidence.

  • Diagnostics: There are several ways to check motility problems of your colon. We can do a colonoscopy as well as balloon and manometry studies to check colon contractions, retention and strength.
    • We offer SmartPill (wireless motility capsule) studies to measure digestion, pH and the time it takes to travel through your system as well as colonic transit studies.
    • High definition 3D and ultrasound can be done to visualize the area without x-ray.
  • Treatments: There are a wide range of treatments for colon problems. When patients have problems with the nerves that supply the anal and bowel muscles, we offer our magnetic stimulation therapy. 
    • We offer fecal microbiota transplantation to patients who have had a serious infection of the colon.
    • Biofeedback therapy helps adult and pediatric patients re-train rectal muscles.

    • Botulinum injections can relax muscles and treat anal fissures that are not healing.
 

Our Providers

Augusta University Medical Center specialists provide care and support throughout your entire healthcare journey.

Generated by 80

Resources & Tools.

Close
Close

Personalize your experience.

Select your preferences below, so we can deliver the most relevant content to you:

Close

Personalize your experience.

Select your preferences below, so we can deliver the most relevant content to you: