Motility Center

Diagnosing and Treating Pediatric Gastrointestinal Motility Disorders

Wireless Motility Capsule Offers Less Invasive Option

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Motility Center

At the Motility Center, we understand that suffering from motility problems, which can result in chronic abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal distension and difficulty swallowing, can be emotionally difficult for both parents and children. It is often difficult to understand the diagnosis and treatment of motility disorders. Children who suffer from motility problems frequently undergo countless and often invasive tests and procedures to determine a proper diagnosis and treatment. Many times, these tests provide no explanation for the symptoms. Our team of experts strive to give families answers and treatment options.

US News Badge Gastroenterology

Nationwide Children's Hospital is ranked by U.S. News & World Report for Gastroenterology & GI Surgery.

About the Motility Center 

Families travel from across the country and internationally to receive care from our experts in pediatric gastrointestinal motility disorders. These unique physicians specialize in the evaluation and management of previously unexplained causes of pediatric gastrointestinal dysmotility.

From behavioral-related motility problems to complex gastrointestinal disorders, our specialists are pioneering innovative tests and treatments to both help families understand the reasons for their children’s symptoms and give them new hope in the ongoing pursuit of treating childhood digestive disorders. Examples of leading, innovative approaches include the implantation of a gastric pacemaker to treat for chronic gastroparesis, and sacral nerve stimulation, an advanced therapy that provides hope for children experiencing severe bowel or urinary incontinence.

They use a comprehensive biopsychosocial approach, which includes a child psychologist, dietitian and social worker, to care for children with complex GI neuromuscular disorders, including:

Children are diagnosed through the team's use of advanced motility testing including:

  • manometry
  • esophageal impedance
  • electrogastrography
  • electronic barostat

These specialized techniques study how the intestine moves, contracts and relaxes. They also can measure intestinal perception, including the threshold for discomfort and pain from the intestine.

Meet Our Team 

Our Motility Team is expert in caring for children with motility disorders because:

  • Our specialists are considered among the best in the world in diagnosing and treating pediatric gastrointestinal motility disorders.
  • We use advanced diagnostic techniques that are only offered a few places in the world.
  • We treat patients using a comprehensive biopsychosocial approach.
  • We are committed to research to uncover new, more effective treatment options.
Nationwide Children's Hospital Medical Professional

Carlo Di Lorenzo

Carlo Di Lorenzo, MD, is Chief of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Nationwide Children's Hospital where he holds the Robert F. and Edgar T. Wolfe Foundation Endowed Chair in Pediatric Gastroenterology and Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

Nationwide Children's Hospital Medical Professional

Desalegn T. Yacob

Desale Yacob, MD, is an attending pediatric gastroenterologist, Medical Director of the Motility Center and Director of Gastroenterology and Motility for the Center for Colorectal and Pelvic Reconstruction at Nationwide Children's Hospital.


Chronic Constipation

Many kids will experience occasional bouts of constipation during their childhood. Chronic constipation is a slightly different, yet much more challenging condition to treat. Because chronic constipation can lead to long-term discomfort and loss of bowel control, it can be very stressful for both parents and kids.

Chronic Intestinal Pseudo-Obstruction

Chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction (CIP) is a rare disorder of gastrointestinal motility where coordinated contractions (peristalsis) in the intestinal tract become altered and inefficient. When this happens, nutritional requirements cannot be adequately met.

Young girl and brother in hospital bed laughing


Gastroparesis is a condition where the stomach contracts less often and less powerfully, causing food and liquids to stay in the stomach for a long time

Young Boy Leaning on Chair in Hospital

Hirschsprung Disease

Hirschsprung disease is a condition you are born with, which causes blockage of the intestine.

Teens Working in Library

Rumination Syndrome

Rumination Syndrome (RS) is a condition where people constantly regurgitate and either vomit or re-swallow their food or drink soon after eating. Although the syndrome was first described many years ago as occurring in young children with developmental disabilities, it is now recognized that the syndrome occurs in children and adolescents with intact cognitive abilities.

Services We Offer

Gastric Pacemaker

The gastric pacemaker is inserted into the abdomen, with electrical wires leading to the stomach. It sends electrical impulses to stimulate the stomach after eating.

Percutaneous Cecostomy

Nationwide Children's is unique in its approach to treating children with retentive fecal incontinence by the placement of minimally invasive percutaneous cecostomy tube.

Esophageal Manometry

Esophageal manometry is used to study how the esophagus (swallowing tube) is working. A small tube (catheter) is passed through the nose and into the esophagus. 

Colonic Manometry

Colonic manometry is used to study how the colon is working. A catheter is placed in the colon and attached to a computer that records the strength and coordination of muscle contractions in the colon.

Jumping Toddler

Sacral Nerve Stimulation Clinic

Sacral nerve stimulation (SNS) is a promising new technique offered to children who experience urinary and/or fecal incontinence or chronic constipation after other treatments have been unsuccessful. Patients meet with a multi-disciplinary team that determines the individualized treatment plan.

Ella W

Read Ella's Story

Name: Ella W.
Condition(s): Colonic Neuropathy Pseudo Obstruction, Rectal Dysmotility
Age Today: 10 Years

After 8 months of surgeries, procedures, testing, nasogastric tubes, physical examines, medications, and more, Ella’s condition remained undiagnosed. Until one day she was referred to Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Allie G

Read Allie's Story

Name: Allie G.
Condition(s): Rumination Syndrome
Age Today: 19 Years

When Allie was 9-years-old, I started to throw up after almost every single meal. She was put on medicine to help her stomach digest food faster and it worked for a while, but not long.

Carrie W

Read Carrie's Story

Name: Carrie W.
Condition(s): Rumination Syndrome
Age Today: 27 Years

When Carrie was 9-years-old, she broke her ankle. This turned into Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, a nerve condition that causes severe pain. After years of being told she was faking her pain, she found relief at Nationwide Children's.

Refer a Patient to the Motility Center

Our Motility Center requires a referral from a managing GI provider to ensure they are seen by the appropriate member of our team and facilitate a timely and most comprehensive evaluation. This means that we cannot accept patient self-referrals.

  • Referring GI providers can contact the Motility Center by calling (614) 722-3456.
  • Patient medical records can be faxed to (614) 722-3454.