GI Motility Services

The GI Motility Program at UNC Hospitals was established by Dr. William Whitehead. The clinical motility program including the GI Motility laboratory and the Pelvic Floor Biofeedback Retraining services are directed by Dr. Yolanda Scarlett.


The GI motility Laboratory

The GI Motility Laboratory provides comprehensive diagnostic evaluation and advice on management of patients with a variety of GI motility disorders. The following services are provided by the GI Motility Laboratory:

  • Diagnostic anorectal motility tests for fecal incontinence, constipation or rectal pain
  • Ambulatory pH and impedance testing
  • Esophageal motility testing
  • Hydrogen breath tests for small bowel bacterial overgrowth and carbohydrate malabsorption
  • Breath tests for h. pylori infection
  • Motility wireless capsule (SmartPill) testing of gastric, small bowel, colonic and whole gut transit
  • Biofeedback treatment for fecal incontinence, constipation, or rectal pain

Patients with GI motility disorders are seen initially in the Functional GI and Motility Disorders Clinic, the UNC Esophageal Clinic or they may be referred directly to the GI Motility Service by referring physicians for diagnostic motility testing and advice on further management. Diagnostic motility tests may be scheduled directly by outside physicians, but a medical consultation from one of the clinicians affiliated with the GI Motility Service is recommended.

Pelvic Floor Biofeedback Retraining

The UNC GI Motility program provides a unique dedicated clinical service of pelvic floor biofeedback retraining treatment for patients with fecal incontinence, constipation due to pelvic floor dyssynergia, and chronic rectal pain. The service is provided by a full-time biofeedback therapist. Biofeedback retraining treatment may be scheduled through consultation with one of the clinicians of the UNC Functional GI and Motility Disorders Clinic.