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MetroWest Medical Center is proud to unveil its new Motility Testing Center located at our Center for Digestive Health. The new testing center is designed to help diagnose, treat and bring relief to those dealing with digestive disorders like Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). The center’s opening is very timely with National GERD Awareness Week falling on the week of November 19-25.

Approximately one in five American adults have GERD and it is the most common gastrointestinal-related diagnosis made by physicians during clinical visits in the U.S. Chronic heartburn/acid reflux, or GERD, results when the gastroesophageal valve allows stomach contents to wash backward or reflux into the esophagus, causing injury to the esophageal lining.

“GERD can have a significant impact on a patient’s quality of life through persistent typical and atypical symptoms, inconsistent sleep patterns, dietary restrictions, and lost productivity from work,” explains Dr. Shana Rakowsky, a gastroenterologist with MetroWest Medical Center. “GERD symptoms can vary from mild to severe depending on the individual.”

Symptoms of GERD can include, but are not limited to, heartburn, dry cough, abdominal pain, trouble swallowing, taste of stomach fluid in the back of the mouth, or heartburn after eating or when lying down. GERD can be diagnosed based on the presentation of common symptoms; however, in some cases, evaluation, diagnosis, and management of GERD can require additional evaluation including imaging and endoscopic procedures. That is where our new Motility Testing Center can help with both diagnosis and treatment.

The gastroenterologists at MetroWest Medical Center’s Framingham Union Hospital offer endoscopic and motility testing including treatment for GERD as well as other upper gastrointestinal issues.

“Our expanded motility program includes additional laboratory and new diagnostic tools and treatment procedures, such as minimally invasive endoscopic treatment of reflux disorders,” says Dr. Rakowsky.

Treatment for GERD varies according to the severity of the symptoms and the individual. Examples of how GERD can be treated include:

• Changes in a patient’s diet and lifestyle.

• Over-the-counter and prescribed medications such as H2 blockers, antacids, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), and pro-motility drugs can provide symptom relief.

• An EGD, or upper endoscopy, is used to evaluate the upper gastrointestinal tract and identify changes consistent with GERD.

• Patients with chronic GERD may benefit from incisionless interventions and/or laparoscopic surgeries designed to reconstruct the anatomical components of the anti-reflux barrier.

To learn more about Acid Reflux/GERD and our Center for Digestive Health, visit our website at