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Motility Procedures

UC San Diego Health System provides state-of-the art diagnostic tests to evaluate digestive system disorders relating to motility. Read about these procedures below and also see our information on advanced endoscopy.

Antroduodenal Motility Function Using Smart Capsule

During this leading-edge procedure, a SmartPill with pressure, pH and temperature sensors is ingested. The signals from the capsule device are recorded telemetrically by a receiver you carry with you for 24 hours. This test records gastric emptying, small bowel transit, colon transit and whole-gut transit time.


Duodenal Aspirates for Bacterial and Yeast/Fungal Overgrowth

A special catheter is used to obtain aspirates from the duodenum during an upper endoscopy. These aspirates are cultured and speciated.


Esophageal pH Monitoring
Using Catheter or Wireless Bravo Systems

Esophageal pH testing measures the acidity level in your esophagus. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a disease that caused digestive enzymes, acid and food from the stomach to travel backwards through the lower esophageal sphincter and into the esophagus. Esophageal pH monitoring involves having a tiny sensor placed in your esophagus for 24 to 96 hours. The sensor measures and transmits pH data back to a receiver (the size of a cell phone) worn on your waistband or in your pocket. The GI Motility Center downloads and analyzes the data to determine a GERD diagnosis or the effectiveness of a current treatment. 


Esophageal Manometry

High-resolution esophageal manometry, also known as an esophageal motility study, evaluates the coordination of contractions in your esophagus as well as the strength of the lower esophageal sphincter. The test involves having a thin flexible tube passed through your nose and down your esophagus. Esophageal manometry helps determine diagnoses for achalasia, nutcracker esophagus, diffuse esophageal spasm, dysphagia, esophageal pain and reflux disease. 

Watch a video demonstration on esophageal manometry.


GI Comprehensive Biofeedback Program

For patients with constipation, pelvic floor dyssynergia or fecal incontinence, this comprehensive program provides pelvic floor muscle retraining tailored to the individual needs of the patient.


High-Resolution Anal Manometry

In an anal manometry test, a probe is inserted into the anal canal to measure sensation in the rectum and the pressure exerted by the sphincter muscles. Anal manometry is used to evaluate fecal incontinence and chronic constipation.


Hydrogen and Methane Breath Testing

Hydrogen and methane breath testing is a noninvasive way to evaluate people with irritable bowel syndrome, bacterial overgrowth in the intestine and food intolerances. It involves taking a base reading of levels of hydrogen or methane in the breath, consuming a substance, such as lactose when testing for lactose intolerance, and repeating the breath test to monitor changes against the baseline test. We currently offer this testing to detect bacterial overgrowth of the small bowel, fructose intolerance and lactose intolerance.


H. Pylori Testing

Testing for H. Pylori bacteria can be accomplished by a blood antibody test, breath test, stool antigen test or stomach biopsy. UC San Diego Health System uses the less invasive breath test, but it is not available at all clinics.

Contact Us

Call 619-543-2347

Clinic Location

Thornton Hospital
Special Procedures Suite
Second floor