Children with a motility condition often feel uncomfortable from constipation and bloating and may not get proper nutrition because they cannot tolerate feeding and have swallowing problems.
The Motility Program at Riley at IU Health provides a full range of tests and services to diagnose and treat a variety of motility conditions in children that affect the muscles of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine and rectum. Our pediatric gastroenterologists are highly trained to diagnose and monitor the underlying causes of motility problems. Our Motility Program is the only one of its kind in Indiana.
Our program is a multidisciplinary one. It includes a doctor, psychologist and dietitian. Your child's condition will be evaluated by each of these health professionals, and then they will work together to develop an individualized care plan. This team ensures your child will receive treatment that improves his or her health and quality of life.
Your child may also receive treatment from doctors and other health professionals in the following specialties:
- Biofeedback therapy
- Behavioral therapy
- Nuclear medicine
- Neuromuscular pathology
- Medical genetics
- Speech therapy
Our doctors take time to answer your questions and address your concerns. They also counsel and educate you about:
- Your child’s specific condition
- The best treatment options for your child
- How to provide the right nutrition
Treatment With the Gastric Electrical Stimulation Device
When children with delayed gastric emptying (gastroparesis) do not respond to other treatments, a gastric electrical stimulation device might be a good treatment option. Delayed gastric emptying takes place when your child’s stomach does not regularly empty its contents into the small intestine.
When appropriate, we place a gastric electrical stimulation device in your child’s gastrointestinal tract. This device uses electrical impulses to stimulate nerves that cause your child’s stomach to empty food into the small intestine as it should.
Our doctors perform a test run with the gastric electrical stimulation device before deciding if your child will benefit from a permanent placement. The test lasts about five days. A temporary device is placed in your child. During the procedure:
- An electrode is placed in the stomach. The electrode is placed in your child’s stomach endoscopically using a flexible tube equipped with a small camera that shows where to place the electrode.
- An electrode wire is passed through the nose. The wire is attached to the neurostimulator, which is a battery-powered device that delivers electrical stimulation to the nervous system.
If your child responds well to the device, a permanent placement is made. A gastric electrical stimulation device is reversible and can be turned off. The device:
- Uses a neurostimulator
- Delivers electrical impulses through lead wires implanted in the stomach muscle
- Stimulates the nerves of the lower stomach
- Relieves nausea and vomiting
We closely monitor patients after the device is placed, and we offer:
- Mental healthcare and emotional support
- Dietary support before and after the device is placed
- Nurses who are always available to answer your questions
- Help with insurance coverage and billing
Our pediatric gastroenterologists regularly follow up with children to help them manage their condition. The Motility Program at Riley at IU Health strives to be the principal care center for children and families living with motility issues. We also work with other gastrointestinal specialists within IU Health to maintain a neurogastrointestinal tissue bank. Samples are collected from pediatric and adult patients who have had the gastric electrical stimulation device implanted. The tissue is studied to better understand the causes of delayed gastric emptying and to find the most helpful treatments.
Our Motility Program is nationally recognized and is a regional referral center of excellence. Our affiliation with the Indiana University School of Medicine and the GI Motility and Neurogastroenterology Unit gives patients access to clinical trials.
Conditions & Services
Our pediatric specialists provide patient- and family-centered care for most related conditions. The links below provide more specific information about some, but not all, of the conditions that we treat.
We offer a number of different Motility Program services. Below are some, but not all, of the services that we provide. If you have a question about a specific service that is not listed here, please contact our program.
Care provided through the Motility Program is coordinated through our specialized pediatric gastroenterology doctors.
In addition to our primary hospital location at the Academic Health Center in Indianapolis, IN, we have convenient locations to better serve our communities throughout the state.
We provide multispecialty care for a number of conditions. Below are links to our related departments.
For Health Professionals
The physicians in our Motility Program work with community gastroenterologists to diagnose, treat and manage complicated motility conditions. Our physicians also conduct ongoing research and frequently publish their findings about motility conditions such as achalasia.
Refer A Patient
Riley at IU Health works with referring physicians in Indiana and beyond.Refer A Patient
Physicians who work in the Motility Program at Riley at IU Health are involved in training future doctors. Many residents and fellows work with our gastroenterologists through the motility clinic and in research efforts.