Gastrointestinal Motility Disorders
This includes a wide spectrum of disorders, such as difficulty in swallowing, abdominal distension and
bloating, and paralysis of the stomach (gastroparesis) or the intestines (pseudo-obstruction). Motility
symptoms, such as alteration in bowel habits (diarrhea, constipation), together with pain, can be
incapacitating in the common syndrome known as irritable bowel syndrome.
While not a malignant disease, gastrointestinal motility disorders can be incapacitating and manifest in a
spectrum of symptoms, including painful swallowing, an inability to swallow, severe abdominal distension,
bloating, and alteration in bowel habits.
UW Medicine is recognized as the authority in the diagnosis and management of esophageal motility disorders,
pseudo-obstruction of the intestines, and motility symptoms associated with irritable bowel sydrome, which
is probably the most common symptom that brings a patient to seek medical advice. A multi-disciplinary team
of scientists and clinicians at UW Medicine, including radiologists, bioengineers, nuclear physicists,
gastroenterologists, gastrointestinal pathologists, surgeons, psychologists, and nursing investigators,
form a strong clinical investigative group of specialists who are working together to provide patients with
the best expert treatment. Among the many on-going achievements of this group are the programs for the
treatment of irritable bowel syndrome. This includes a unique Swallowing Center at the Department of
Surgery, which studies the biomechanics of swallowing, and is complemented by a highly recognized team of
video-endoscopic (laparoscopic) surgeons.
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