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Pediatric Gastroenterology Motility Program Offers Advanced Testing, Comprehensive Care

Expert diagnosis, treatment for children with debilitating GI conditions

Better Medicine Winter 2024 Pediatric gastroenterology

Pediatric gastrointestinal motility disorders are common and sometimes challenging to treat. To provide comprehensive care for these cases, Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital recently launched a Pediatric Gastroenterology Motility Program. It offers an array of diagnostic and therapeutic services for children with chronic motility disorders, including complex cases.

The program is led by Adam Paul, DO, Division Chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology. Dr. Paul had been a general pediatric gastroenterologist with Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital for several years when he decided that he wanted to focus specifically on motility disorders. That led him to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where he completed advanced fellowship training in neurogastroenterology and motility.

Now, Dr. Paul has brought this expertise back to LVPG Pediatric Gastroenterology in Allentown. Lehigh Valley pediatricians no longer need to send families to Philadelphia or Manhattan for tests like anorectal or esophageal manometry. The Motility Program also offers convenient access to a variety of nonsurgical therapies.

Pediatric motility disorders

Motility disorders impact the function of muscles as they propel the contents of the GI tract. Conditions seen in the Motility Program include:

  • Severe gastroesophageal reflux
  • Chronic constipation
  • Intestinal pseudo-obstruction
  • Colon inertia
  • Esophageal achalasia
  • Hirschsprung’s disease
  • Imperforate anus

“These conditions affect the ability to eat, swallow or have a regular bowel movement, so they can be quite lifestyle altering,” Dr. Paul says. “We are here to support families and their care teams throughout the duration of a child’s illness.”

Diagnostic capabilities

Typically, children are referred to the Motility Program after common causes for their GI complaints have been excluded. Among the advanced testing options offered are:

  • Anorectal manometry, to measure the pressure of the anal and rectal muscles and determine whether they are functioning appropriately to have a bowel movement
  • Esophageal manometry, to evaluate the strength and function of the esophageal muscles and screen for achalasia
  • pH and impedance monitoring, to assess the degree and severity of acid reflux

Therapeutic options

In addition to Dr. Paul, the Motility Program team includes a motility nurse, registered dietitians and a behavioral health specialist. Together, they offer a variety of therapies for managing pediatric motility disorders, including:

  • Nonsurgical procedures, such as pneumatic (balloon) dilation and sphincter muscle Botox injections
  • Medications
  • Nutritional therapy
  • Behavioral health interventions

“We also have great pediatric surgical colleagues at Lehigh Valley Reilly Children’s Hospital, who we refer patients to when appropriate,” Dr. Paul says. “We believe in taking a comprehensive approach to addressing these chronic conditions.”

Referral Center

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Refer a patient

To refer a patient or to request an appointment, call 888-402-LVHN.

Call 888-402-LVHN (5846)

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