Motility and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Center | Your Visit

Motility and functional GI disorders can be difficult to diagnose, and it is not unusual for families to have seen multiple physicians before arriving at Boston Children’s. At the Motility and Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders Center, our specialists use the most precise and advanced testing available, so your child can finally receive an accurate diagnosis — and begin experiencing relief from symptoms.

What to expect

Tests and other procedures can be scary for some children. Knowing ahead of time what to expect can help ease your family’s concerns.

Before your visit

Talk honestly and openly with your child about the upcoming test or procedure. Explain in simple terms why the test is needed and what will happen. Encourage your child to bring a favorite book, stuffed animal, blanket or music to the hospital for comfort.

If possible, do not bring any other children with you to the test, including siblings. If you must bring other children, please have another adult present so you can focus on the patient’s needs.

During the visit

Your child will likely need to remain still during the procedure. If you feel your child will have trouble staying still, please let us know. Some children need sedation to help them sleep during the test.

You will be able to stay with your child during the test, or until they fall asleep from sedation. Most tests and procedures are not painful, but some children may have discomfort when certain medications are given.

Some tests, such as endoscopy and colonoscopy, may require more invasive procedures to place the motility catheters. These procedures will be done under anesthesia, and the motility test will occur after the anesthesia wears off, either on the same or the next day. The motility testing itself is not painful.

After the visit

If your child did not require sedation, talk with a doctor or nurse about how soon you will be able to leave the hospital.

If your child did receive sedation, the nurse will move them to the recovery area while you head to the family waiting area. From there, a nurse will bring you to the recovery area to be with your child.

Because your child may still be sleepy or unsteady after sedation, please arrange to have private transportation to go home. Do not plan to take public transportation.

If you have questions about an upcoming test, procedure or any other aspect of your child's treatment, reach out to a member of your care team, who can explain what to expect during your visit and share tips on how to make it as easy as possible.