Pediatric Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Liver Diseases

Hasbro Children's Hospital

Pediatric Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Liver Diseases

The Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology at Hasbro Children's Hospital provides family-centered care for children with a variety of gastrointestinal (GI), hepatic, and nutritional needs. The division has over 8,000 patient visits each year and is continuing to expand to meet the needs of patients regionally, as well as nationally.

Every patient who walks through our doors is given the benefit of our expertise and experience. Our multidisciplinary team of experts works together to focus on the needs of each child. In addition to our medical team, our staff includes pediatric psychologists, clinical social workers and child life specialists.

What is pediatric gastroenterology?

Pediatric gastroenterology is a specialized field of medicine that focuses on diagnosing and treating disorders in children related to their digestive system, liver, and pancreas.

What is a pediatric gastroenterologist?

A pediatric gastroenterologist’s training is specific to children’s digestive problems, which can differ significantly from those in adults. Pediatric gastroenterologists perform: 

  • Diagnostic tests and procedures, such as an endoscopy 
  • Blood and breath tests 
  • Special x-rays 
  • Placement and management of feeding tubes or intravenous nutrition

Why would a child be referred to a gastroenterologist?

Pediatric gastrointestinal disorders differ between children. A consultation with a pediatric gastroenterologist should be made if a child displays any of these symptoms for more than three weeks

  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Constipation

If a child has weight loss due to poor appetite or blood is noted in the vomit or stool, an urgent consultation should be made. If in doubt, talk to your pediatrician who can guide you in the next steps.

What are common signs of pediatric gastrointestinal disorder? 

A child might be referred to a pediatric gastroenterologist for several reasons such as:

  • Abdominal pain 
  • Reflux 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Bloody stool 
  • Chronic conditions (such as Crohn’s disease and cyclic vomiting syndrome) 

If you suspect any digestive health issues in your child, consult their pediatrician to determine if a referral to a gastroenterologist is necessary.

How often should children have check-ups for digestive health? 

All children and adolescents should see their primary care pediatrician for annual well checks. The pediatrician will ask screening questions to determine if they may have problems in their digestive system that may require a visit to a pediatric gastroenterologist.

Pediatric Gastroenterology Services

  • Breath testing (lactose intolerance, bacterial overgrowth testing)
  • Diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal, nutritional and liver disorders
  • Enteral tube placement and management
  • Evaluation for bariatric surgery
  • Gastrointestinal endoscopy
  • Impedance and pH probe study; Bravo wireless pH study
  • Liver biopsy
  • Motility studies
  • Neuro stimulation technology for functional pain
  • Rectal suction biopsy
  • Sweat test

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