Pediatric Gastrointestinal Conditions

If your child has a digestive system, liver or nutritional problem, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital has the expertise to help. Our pediatric gastrointestinal surgeons have decades of combined experience treating children’s unique needs. 

A young girl uses a stethoscope on a teddy bear

Children who have upcoming surgeries can take a Teddy Bear Tour to become familiar with the hospital.

Types of Pediatric Gastrointestinal Conditions

Our highly skilled surgeons treat a wide range of gastrointestinal problems, including:

  • Appendicitis: An infected appendix is the number one reason for emergency surgery among children of all ages. We care for both acute and complicated cases. Learn more about how we treat appendicitis.
  • Biliary anomalies: One type of anomaly is biliary atresia, in which the bile ducts become inflamed and blocked soon after a baby is born. This blockage causes digestive fluid to damage the liver. 
  • Intestinal or small bowel atresia: This birth defect obstructs a baby’s small intestine, which connects the stomach to the large intestine. In duodenal atresia, the first part of the small bowel (the duodenum) has not developed properly. 
  • Gallstones: Gallstones are hardened deposits of digestive fluid that can form in your child’s gallbladder. Our surgeons can remove them to relieve pain and other symptoms. 
  • Gastroesophageal reflux: When stomach acid flows in reverse, it can irritate the tube (esophagus) connecting the mouth and stomach. Gastroesophageal reflux is usually temporary, but if it becomes a long-term problem, it’s called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
  • Intussusception: This type of bowel obstruction happens when one part of the intestine slips, or “telescopes,” into another segment. Read more about intussusception.
  • Pyloric stenosis: Babies who have a thickened pylorus (valve between the stomach and small intestine) can have trouble digesting food. That can cause them to vomit, become dehydrated, lose weight and feel constantly hungry. Learn more about pyloric stenosis.
  • Ulcerative colitis: This is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that affects a child’s large intestine, or colon, causing irritation and swelling. Our surgeons can safely remove the entire colon or only the section that is damaged. Read more about ulcerative colitis.
  • Crohn’s disease: This is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the digestive tract. While surgery doesn’t cure Crohn’s disease, we can remove diseased areas of the intestines to ease inflammation and reduce symptoms. 
  • Imperforate anus: Babies with an underdeveloped anus are not able to pass stool normally. Our surgeons repair tissue so the rectum (at the end of the large intestine) and anus function together as they should.

How We Care for Children with Gastrointestinal Conditions

Our treatment approach is both specialized and comprehensive. We offer:

  • A dedicated team: As a full-service, free-standing children’s hospital, we specialize in the unique needs of children. Our experienced surgeons deliver personalized care specific to your child.
  • Minimally invasive techniques: Surgery is a major event for you and your child, so we make the process as smooth as possible. We often use techniques such as laparoscopy that generally require less recovery time. With this method, our doctors operate through one or more incisions while viewing an enlarged image of the internal organs on a monitor. 
  • An easier recovery: Minimally invasive surgery requires fewer stitches, which helps shorten your child’s downtime and reduce pain after surgery. Some of our procedures are available on an outpatient basis, so your child can go home the same day.

Contact Us

To schedule an appointment at any location, call 954-265-0072.

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