Sometimes, infants and children simply outgrow their problems with their digestive tract. So treatment might could last for only a few weeks, or months or sometimes years. Treatments can include medicine, changes to the foods your child eats, surgery, or dietary supplements or extra nutrition given in a way his body needs, such as special drinks. Each of our pediatric gastroenterologists have special training in the latest treatments, and will discuss all of your options with you.
Your child will also receive expert care from the food and nutrition specialists at Janet Weis Children’s Hospital.
Below are some of the tests and procedures that can help your child. We do most of these during a daytime appointment, so your child can spend every night at home.
- Motility Studies - These studies help physicians see how well the body pushes food or stool, for example, through the digestive tract. Motility studies help diagnose the cause of serious abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, and other conditions. Our pediatric gastroenterologists are the only specialists in Pennsylvania to offer this important service just for children.
- X-rays - X-rays of the upper abdomen or upper gastrointestinal tract include the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). X-rays of the lower intestines or bowels, might include a “barium enema.” Specialists use this procedure to see the large intestine, or the colon and rectum. With the child asleep, we use an enema to place barium into the intestines through the rectum. Barium shows up very brightly on X-rays. This gives the physician a clearer picture of the intestines and helps locate ulcers, growths such as polyps, and areas that are unusually narrow.
- Endoscopy Procedures - This allows physicians to see inside the body. An “endoscope” is a thin flexible tube with a light and camera. With your child asleep, the doctor moves it gently through his body, either through the mouth to see the esophagus and the stomach, or through the rectum to see the lower intestines.
Our Child Life Specialist will explain these tests to your child in terms he or she will understand.