Digestive problems can severely affect a child’s quality of life. The pain and discomfort your child experiences can prevent him or her from enjoying daily activities. That is why it’s important for your child to receive care at a gastroenterology center dedicated to children.
At Children’s National Health System, our internationally renowned pediatric specialists have the skills and resources to diagnose, treat, and manage digestive disorders in children.
We are the only hospital in the Washington, DC, area that caters exclusively to children. Our pediatric gastroenterology team provides comprehensive, personalized care for infants, children, and teenagers.
Features of our services include:
- Full spectrum of care. Our program includes experts in digestive, liver, and nutritional disorders in children of all ages. We can manage everything from a routine upset stomach to complex and chronic conditions that require ongoing care.
- Expertise in diagnosis. There is a wide range of conditions that fall under “gastrointestinal disorders.” This is why careful, professional diagnosis is so important. Our pediatric specialists have the experience to make an accurate diagnosis, the first step to a comprehensive treatment and management plan.
- Specialized care. Every member of your child’s team is a pediatric specialist in gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. We provide a superior level of care, tailoring your child’s treatment plan to meet his or her specific needs.
- Efficient services. Many of our physicians subspecialize in specific GI disorders. When you call to make an appointment, we will immediately direct you to the healthcare specialist you need. In addition, your referring physician can access one of our on-call doctors 24 hours a day so we can guide you to the correct practitioner who can meet your child’s needs.
- Child-centered environment. We know being in a hospital can be an anxious time for a child. From our kid-friendly rooms to our Child Life Specialists, we do everything we can to provide a safe, warm, and reassuring environment for children and families. Learn more about our services for families.
Gastrointestinal Specialty Clinics at Children’s National
Some of the more complex childhood gastrointestinal disorders require a specialized team of experts, all working together to treat and manage your child’s condition. In our clinics, specialists from many different fields of pediatric medicine collaborate to offer your child comprehensive, excellent care. Our clinics include:
We are the only clinic in the Washington, DC, area to offer a motility clinic for children. Motility disorders are disorders relating to how the food moves through the digestive system. Our dedicated team offers expert diagnosis and personalized care to help improve your child’s quality of life.
Celiac Disease Program
Celiac disease is an immune disease, in which the body reacts to eating gluten (found in wheat, barley, and rye). Children with celiac disease have trouble absorbing certain nutrients, leading to stomach pain and malnutrition. Patients in our celiac program meet with an experienced nurse practitioner and dietitian. Learn more about our Celiac Disease Program.
Feeding Disorders Program
Children's National Health System has a Feeding Disorders Program that includes a multidisciplinary group of specialists who have been evaluating and successfully treating young children with a variety of different feeding problems for almost 30 years.
Common problems evaluated include
- Poor appetite
- Poor weight gain
- Selective eating
- Difficulties advancing onto an age appropriate diet
We also see children with a variety of medical and developmental issues that impact feeding as well as children who are on supplemental tube feedings.
Initial appointments are scheduled with one of the nurse practitioners in the Gastroenterology Department where a comprehensive history and physical are completed, medical testing may be considered and treatment is initiated. Patients may be referred to other specialists in Psychiatry, Nutrition, Hearing and Speech, and Occupational Therapy. Appointments for an initial Feeding Assessment can be made at our main hospital by calling the Gastroenterology scheduling line at 202-476-3032.
Food Allergy Clinic
Food allergies can range from inconvenient to life threatening. In this joint clinic, families meet with a team consisting of an allergist, gastrointestinal physician, and dietitian. Together, we tailor a plan to help your child manage the food allergy.
Our dedicated team in Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition includes pediatric specialists who work together to provide the most comprehensive services for your child. In addition, if your child has a separate, related condition, we work closely with other specialists to ensure that he or she receives the most appropriate care.
Our team includes:
- Pathologists (responsible for tissue analysis and diagnosis)
- Radiologists (in charge of imaging procedures)
- Nurse practitioners
- Physician assistants
- Social workers
GI Services We Provide: Inpatient and Outpatient Care
We can treat some GI conditions using simple lifestyle changes or medication. Other conditions require long-term management and care. Services we provide include:
- Physician consultations
- Testing and screening services
- Surgical procedures
- Ongoing nutritional support
Patients can receive care at our main campus facility or at one of our Regional Outpatient Centers (ROC). We have five convenient ROCs throughout the Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia area. If your child does not require hospitalization, our ROCs provide easy access to our team of specialists. You can get the GI services you need close to home, with the same level of expertise and excellence as you would find at our hospital.
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