Programs and Services
At Phoenix Children’s, we offer several programs and services to diagnose and treat motility disorders. These include biofeedback training and tests to evaluate gastrointestinal tract structures and function. We also offer procedures to stretch the esophagus or anus if either is too narrow to function properly.
Diagnostic procedures include:
- Anorectal manometry: A test used to evaluate the nerve and muscle function in the rectum and anus. This test is often performed on patients with stool incontinence (inability to control bowel movements) or chronic constipation. An anorectal manometry exam takes 45 minutes to perform. No anesthesia is required, and patients go home the same day.
- Antroduodenal manometry: A test to study the function of the upper intestine (stomach and small bowel). This test is often used to evaluate patients who have gastroparesis (delayed emptying of the stomach). During this study, an endoscope tube is used to place a catheter in the upper intestine. Doctors use the catheter to measure function. Antroduodenal manometry exams take several days and require a hospital stay.
- Colonic manometry: A test used to measure the function of the colon. This test can help doctors understand the cause of chronic constipation and stool incontinence. During this test, doctors perform a colonoscopy to place a catheter inside the colon. This catheter measures colon function. Colonic manometry exams take several days and require a hospital stay.
- Esophageal manometry: A test to evaluate the function of the muscles in the esophagus. This test may be used to help in the diagnosis of swallowing dysfunction and gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). Esophageal manometry exams take about 45 minutes. No anesthesia is required, and patients go home the same day.
Biofeedback Therapy for Constipation
Many children struggle with chronic constipation — constipation lasting six months or longer. For some children, constipation is caused by problems with the way their rectum or anus develops at birth. For others, constipation is a result of waiting too long to use the bathroom. When children “hold it” too long, they get used to constantly squeezing the muscles in their anus that should relax during a bowel movement.
At Phoenix Children’s, we offer anorectal biofeedback for the treatment of chronic constipation. This therapy uses a device to measure how muscles respond to electrical stimulation. Our team incorporates video games into biofeedback therapy to teach children correct muscle control.
EndoFlip and EsoFlip
Children with motility problems in their esophagus may benefit from EndoFlip or EsoFlip evaluations.
EndoFlip, like esophageal manometry, allows physicians to measure the function of the muscles in the esophagus. EndoFlip is performed under anesthesia. This procedure is especially helpful in diagnosing narrowing of the esophagus (stricture), GERD and achalasia.
During EndoFlip, a catheter is placed through the mouth and into the esophagus. Doctors inflate a balloon on the body of the catheter. This allows them to measure the size and pressure inside the esophagus.
EsoFlip can be used to treat certain conditions of the esophagus. During EsoFlip a balloon is used to dilate (stretch) the esophagus.