The Motility Interest Group consists of physicians who have special training and interests in disorders of gastrointestinal motility. The major disorders that fall into this category of gastrointestinal conditions include:
Though some of these conditions do not have a well-defined pathophysiology or specific therapies, patients can often be helped by the highly focused therapeutic approaches that have been evaluated critically by the Mayo group.
Using noninvasive methods, it is possible to measure by scintigraphy (or radiopaque marker techniques) the rate at which material leaves the stomach, moves through the intestines, and is evacuated from the rectum. These simple tests give an overview of the functions of the entire gastrointestinal tract.
Manometric studies of the esophagus, stomach and small intestine
Flexible catheters can be positioned at different levels of the upper gut. By recording the contractions of the intestinal muscle, the strength and coordination of the muscle can be characterized.
Manometric studies of the colon
Can identify muscle strength and coordination in the colon. These approaches are particularly applicable to patients with severe constipation.
Anorectal manometry, balloon expulsion
The strength and coordination of the final step of rectal evacuation can be quantified. Complementing these approaches are:
Assessments of autonomic innervation/denervation
Together with Mayo's Autonomic Function Laboratory, tests of cardiac and sudomotor (sweating) function are used to assess the competency of autonomic innervation of the gut.
Histologic samples can be assessed for patterns of innervation (or denervation) by the intrinsic nervous system of the gut.
Behavioral and psychosocial factors
Recognizing that some of the disorders described above often have important contributions from stress and other psychosocial factors, the Mayo Motility Interest Group has developed close ties for evaluation and therapy with:
Chronic pain program
A multidisciplinary team of behavioral psychologists, anesthesiologists and psychotherapists which consults on major problems of chronic abdominal pain and coordinates rehabilitation.
The Motility Interest Group interacts surgeons from Colorectal Surgery who have special interest in intractable constipation and fecal incontinence.