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SLUCare Doctor Starts Pediatric Gastrointestinal Motility Program

A SLUCare pediatric gastroenterologist now offers a pediatric gastrointestinal motility program for pediatric and adolescent patients at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital.

Dhiren Patel, M.D., is a SLUCare pediatric gastroenterologist and medical director of GI motility services at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon. He is also an assistant professor of pediatrics at SLU School of Medicine. 

Gastrointestinal motility refers to the movement of food through the gastrointestinal passage, from the mouth to the anus. Any abnormality at any level, muscles, nerves or coordination among them produces abnormal motility.

That abnormal motility can produce longstanding debilitating symptoms that do not respond to conservative management. Symptoms include, but are not limited to, severe constipation, diarrhea, bloating, abnormality in swallowing, abdominal distension and long standing abdominal pain.

The motility clinic offers clinic consultations and if appropriate, comprehensive advanced motility diagnostic services through GI motility program. With the addition of these full-spectrum services, Cardinal Glennon is now the region’s only children’s hospital providing full spectrum motility testing, Patel said. 

"There are large number of patients with undiagnosed motility disorders in pediatric community," Patel said. "With advanced equipment such as high-resolution pressure measurement catheters through gastrointestinal tract, we can determine whether nerves and muscles are functioning appropriately and if not what kind of interventions may be helpful in alleviating these debilitating symptoms." 

GI Motility Program Services

The motility clinic is open from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month at Cardinal Glennon. Call the gastroenterology office at 314-268-4010 to schedule an appointment.