Gastroenterology (Digestive Health)

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At Holtz Children’s Hospital, our experienced team of pediatric gastroenterologists provide care for children suffering from gastrointestinal, liver, pancreatic and nutritional disorders. Areas of expertise include inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease, liver transplantation, nutritional failure and intestinal failure.

Medical Conditions Treated

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Short Bowel Syndrome
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD)
  • Bleeding in the Gastrointestinal Tract
  • Lactose Intolerance
  • Food Allergies
  • Liver Disease
  • Hepatitis
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Constipation and Diarrhea
  • Celiac Disease
  • Nutritional Problems
  • Vomiting
  • Feeding Disorders
  • Pancreatic Insufficiency

Tests, Treatments & Procedures

When children require a liver or intestinal transplant or more routine abdominal surgery, pediatric gastroenterologists work closely with pediatric surgeons to ensure that patients receive the best possible care.

Colonoscopy
A colonoscopy allows a doctor to look into the large intestine with a narrow, flexible tune that has a camera on the end to determine why children have diarrhea, intestinal bleeding, weight loss and other conditions.

Liver Biopsy
A liver biopsy is a procedure performed using a special needle to obtain a sample of the liver. Liver biopsies help physicians evaluate jaundice, liver inflammation or an englarged liver.

pH Probe Study
Oftentimes, when acid reflux is suspected, a doctor will measure the pH of the esophagus to determine whether acid is refluxing up from the stomach into the esophagus. The procedure is also performed to determine the effectiveness of anti-reflux treatment and to offer an explanation for conditions such as nighttime cough and hoarseness. The procedure includes inserting a thin, plastic tube mounted with a sensor through the nostril and into the esophagus. A chest x-ray assesses the position of the tube, connected to a recorder and the probe remains in place for the 24-hour study. The child may return home for the study or remain in the hospital.

Upper Endoscopy
An upper endoscopy is a procedure to determine why children have abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting or poor growth. A small, narrow tube mounted with a light and camera is inserted into the swallowing tube of a child to evaluate the tube, stomach and upper small intestine.

Advanced Intestinal Rehabilitation Program

Holtz Children's Hospital has one of the few multidisciplinary Intestinal Rehabilitation Programs in the United States. The program cares for children with intestinal failure, generally caused by short bowel syndrome. Short bowel syndrome is a complex and often devastating disorder caused by the loss of part of the small bowel and the decreased ability of the intestine to absorb nutrition. The loss of bowel can be due to congenital diseases or surgical removal.

Treatment
Treatment consists primarily of specialized nutrition management aimed at helping the remaining intestines adapt and take on the absorption functions that were lost. Most of these patients depend on parental nutrition. Before the creation of this program, the only option for these patients was intestinal/liver transplant. With the new program, transplant is an option for patients who fail home parental nutrition therapy.

Multidisciplinary Rehabilitation Team

  • Board-certified Pediatric Gastroenterologist
  • Pediatric Surgeons
  • Transplant Surgeons
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Registered Dietitian
  • Medical Assistant
  • Research Assistant
  • Social Worker
  • Pharmacist
  • Child Psychologist
Holtz Children's Hospital
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