What is Gastrointestinal Motility?
Motility involves muscle contractions that move food through your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This process is possible through a complex set of signals to coordinate movement and sensation between your:
- Brain (central nervous system)
- Nerves of the GI tract (enteric nervous system)
- Muscles of the GI tract
A disruption to any part of this process causes symptoms, such as difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting, recurrent abdominal pain, and constipation, which can make it difficult to go about your daily life.
Why Choose Us: Neurogastroenterology, Motility and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Program
As one of the largest motility practices on the West Coast, our vast experience with uncommon conditions, such as gastroparesis and bowel obstruction, allows us to help the sickest patients live a better quality of life. These conditions are challenging to diagnose, which is why it is important to get care from a specialized center like ours.
Other highlights of our program include:
- Dedicated testing lab: Performing over 1,000 tests every year, we are one of only a few programs in the U.S. with a dedicated Gastrointestinal Motility Lab. Here, we offer advanced tests, such as gastroduodenal manometry, available in only a few centers across the country.
- Nonsurgical treatments: Our goal is to treat your condition using the least invasive techniques possible. For many people, this includes a personalized combination of medications. Others may benefit from alternative therapies, such as medical acupuncture, which is available through our Center for Integrative Medicine.
- Translational research: Advancing the science of motility care, we are part of an ongoing National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded multi-center research effort to better understand gastroparesis and find new treatments. This work allows us to offer treatments before they are widely available, such as KUVAN® for women with diabetic gastroparesis.
- Innovative devices: We are one of just a few medical centers in Northern California offering the Enterra® gastric electrical stimulation therapy system. Enterra® can help to control symptoms of nausea and vomiting related to gastroparesis, when medications alone aren’t successful.
- Team approach: Digestive health experts at Stanford, including nutrition services and endoscopy, work side by side to help you get the best care possible.