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Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition

Treating Young Patients with Digestive and Liver Diseases and Disorders

At The Children’s Hospital New Orleans, our multidisciplinary gastroenterology, hepatology, and nutrition team goes the extra mile to ensure we meet the needs of young children facing a full range of digestive and liver diseases, and nutritional problems. Nearly 1 in 4 Americans has a digestive condition, and yet often the symptoms are ignored and left untreated which only leads to further discomfort and potentially life-threatening complications. This is especially true in children who may suffer from problems like failure to gain weight, malnutrition and dehydration, and constipation.

Our child-friendly, family-focused, and board-certified pediatric gastroenterologists are highly trained specialists and work as a cohesive, multidisciplinary team alongside other pediatric specialists, dietitians, radiologists, pharmacists, and others to facilitate evaluation and treatment. Many of our physicians specialize in a particular area of the digestive tract, providing our patients with in-depth knowledge and understanding of their conditions.

We also understand how to care for wiggly, curious children who might also have a fear of the hospital and be facing significant emotional distress. We are here to soothe both their fears and yours, as their parent. All tests and procedures are done in a kid-friendly environment where patience and compassion are key to ensuring the best possible experiences so our young patients feel comfortable in a nurturing environment.

Conditions and diagnoses

Most gastrointestinal and liver diseases are quite complex yet have subtle symptoms with unknown causes. These diseases may be inherited or can develop as a result of factors like stress, fatigue, or diet. With our world-class technology and integrated team approach, parents can rely on extraordinary patient care for their children.

We help children with symptoms related to constipation or reflux and more specialty conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Functional Dyspepsia, pancreaticobiliary disorders, celiac disease, or Crohn’s disease, among others.

Our diverse team of healthcare providers provides comprehensive diagnoses for the following gastrointestinal disorders:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Acute and chronic diarrhea
  • Acute liver failure
  • Allergic (food) disorders
  • Celiac disease
  • Chronic liver diseases
  • Congenital diarrhea disorders
  • Constipation
  • Cyclic vomiting syndrome (CVS)
  • Eosinophilic disorders
  • Failure to thrive
  • Feeding disorders
  • Functional gastrointestinal disorders
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Malabsorption disorders
  • Pancreatic diseases
  • Short bowel syndrome
  • Vomiting

Programs and services

We offer the following programs to enhance your child’s quality of life:

  • Aerodigestive Program
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis Program
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program
  • Intestinal Rehabilitation Program
  • Liver Disease and Transplant Program
  • Nutrition Program
  • Pancreaticobiliary/Advanced Endoscopy Program

How digestive disorders are diagnosed in children

Our pediatric gastroenterologists provide a variety of testing and diagnostic procedures to detect gastrointestinal diseases in children, including:

  • Abdominal imaging
  • Barium enema
  • Breath hydrogen testing (sugar malabsorption & bacterial overgrowth)
  • Colonoscopy
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
  • Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)
  • Esophageal varices therapy
  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
  • Foreign body removal
  • Gastric emptying scan
  • Gastric reflux test (pH and multichannel Intraluminal Impedance test)
  • Gastrointestinal test (Upper GI)
  • Liver biopsy
  • Polypectomy
  • Stool collection

What parents can expect

Be prepared to answer a lot of questions about your child’s eating and dietary habits as well as their voiding (bathroom) habits. Our specialists will also designate a benchmark for your child’s height, weight, and body mass index (BMI) so we can track their growth and development over subsequent visits. Most patients leave the office with “homework,” which may include keeping a food journal. Children may also need to go for additional testing such as blood work in our pediatric laboratory, or for imaging studies like CT or MRI scans.

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