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Neurogastroenterology and Motility Program

Motility disorders cause spasms or lack of motion anywhere along the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. If your child has trouble digesting food or going to the bathroom, a motility disorder may be to blame. 

Motility disorders can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. At Phoenix Children’s, our motility experts want to help your child feel better. We’ll work with you and your child to find the most effective treatment so they can focus on being a kid.

What Are Motility Disorders?

The GI tract contains several organs, including the esophagus, stomach, intestines, rectum and anus. These organs are made up of muscles and nerves that work together to digest food and remove waste (stool) from the body. The movement of food and waste along the GI tract is known as motility. Damage to GI muscles or their associated nerves can lead to a motility disorder. 

Our Neurogastroenterology and Motility Program director is Ricardo Medina-Centeno, MD, a pediatric gastroenterologist who specializes in treating these conditions. He provides a thorough evaluation and advanced testing and treatment, as well as referrals to other providers who can help, including psychologists and physical therapists.

Monthly Multidisciplinary Clinic for Children with Motility and Colorectal Disorders

Phoenix Children’s offers a monthly multidisciplinary clinic for children with motility disorders and colorectal conditions (conditions of the colon and rectum that often cause motility issues). It is the only clinic of its kind in Arizona for children who may need surgery to correct a problem in the GI tract. Patients see Dr. Medina-Centeno, a pediatric colorectal surgeon and a nurse specializing in motility and colorectal disorders. 

National Leaders in Pediatric Care

Phoenix Children’s is consistently recognized as a “Best Children’s Hospital” by U.S. News & World Report. For the twelfth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranked Phoenix Children’s among the nation’s “Best Children’s Hospitals.” The health system also earned recognition as the top children’s hospital in Arizona for the second consecutive year. Only 35 states and Washington, D.C., are home to hospitals with a top state distinction, per U.S. News.

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