Pediatric gastroenterology is a specialty that diagnoses and treats nutrition problems and illnesses of the digestive system and liver in infants, children and adolescents. Pediatric gastroenterologists study and understand problems in the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts and liver. At Bon Secours, our pediatric gastroenterologists approach your child's care with compassion and partner with you and your child's physician to see that your child receives the best possible care.

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At Bon Secours, our highly skilled pediatric gastroenterologists are dedicated to caring for children that may have:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Chronic or severe vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Food allergies and intolerance
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or esophagitis
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Liver and pancreas problems or diseases
  • Malnutrition, failure to thrive and obesity
  • Short bowel syndrome
  • Ulcers

Because children, especially young children and infants, cannot always explain their symptoms, pediatric gastroenterologists are trained in a way that helps them diagnose conditions and work with small children. pediatric gastroenterologists are experts in how to perform and understand the results of diagnostic tests, such as endoscopy. This test uses narrow, flexible lighted tubes with built-in video cameras, to see the inside of the intestinal tract. Some other tests that a pediatric gastroenterologist may conduct to help diagnose an illness or disease include:

  • Upper endoscopy helps the pediatric gastroenterologist see the inside of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (first part of the small intestine).
  • Colonoscopy lets the physician look inside the entire large intestine, from the rectum up through the colon to the lower end of the small intestine.
  • Endoscopic ultrasound allows the pediatric gastroenterologist to see and biopsy tumors or abnormalities that lie outside the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Video capsule endoscopy is a capsule containing a miniature camera. When the child swallows the capsule, the camera takes pictures of the lining of the small intestine.

Children are not small adults, and at Bon Secours our pediatric gastroenterologists know they must approach the care of our littlest patients differently.

St. Mary's for Kids is the only hospital in central Virginia to be a member of Improve Care Now, a national quality improvement group of 65 centers, dedicated to improving the care we provide for pediatric patients with Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's disease. 

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