What is paediatric gastroenterology?
Paediatric gastroenterology focusses on the study, diagnosis, and management of problems and conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract (e.g the stomach and intestines). Paediatric gastroenterology also covers hepatology (the study of the liver) and nutrition, wherein they can provide support to those children with complex nutritional needs.
What conditions does a paediatric gastroenterologist treat?
Conditions which may be treated by a paediatric gastroenterologist include:
A paediatric gastroenterologist can also guide and advise transplant patients, in addition to performing certain endoscopic procedures themselves, both to diagnose and to treat particular conditions.
What sub-specialties are included under paediatric gastroenterology?
Paediatric gastroenterology is actually a sub-specialty of paediatrics, though paediatrics widely covers many different sub-specialties. Paediatric gastroenterologists specialise in the study, diagnosis and management of conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract, the liver (hepatology), and in child nutrition. Within these areas doctors may have certain areas of expertise or deal more exclusively with patients suffering a particular condition, such as IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), liver disease, or intestinal failure. Certain doctors may choose to specialise as either a paediatric hepatologist or a paediatric gastroenterologist.
When should my child see a paediatric gastroenterologist?
Your child may be referred to a paediatric gastroenterologist if they have problems with their digestive tract or liver, or if further investigations are required regarding nutritional needs or nutritional problems. If your child needs a liver transplant, then a paediatric gastroenterologist will manage both the pre and post-operative sides of the procedure. Speak to your GP or paediatrician for referral to a paediatric gastroenterologist.