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Pediatric Gastroenterology


What is Pediatric Gastroenterology ?

Pediatric Gastroenterology is a subspecialty of Pediatrics which deals with infants, children and adolescents with digestive, liver, nutritional and metabolic problems. These problems include gastro esophageal reflux, persistent vomiting, chronic diarrhea, malabsorption, rectal bleeding, constipation, food allergies, hepatitis, liver failure, poor weight gain, obesity, and many more.

Origin of Pediatric Gastroenterology.

Pediatrics is a branch of medical care that deals with the medical care of infant, children, and adolescent .Pediatrics differs from adult medicine in many respects. The obvious body size differences are paralleled by maturational changes. The smaller body of an infant or a child is substantially different physiologically from that of an adult. Treating a child is not like treating a miniature adult. Hence Pediatric Medicine came into existence after separating from the General Medicine in early 19th century. Subsequent to this various Pediatric subspecialties started developing from 1950 onwards. Pediatric Gastroenterology came into existence since 1960 and is now established itself scientifically and clinically as a major contributor to care and well being of pediatric population. Most of the hospitals providing tertiary care to children at least in bigger cities are having a Pediatric Gastroenterologist on board. A Pediatric Gastroenterologist is one who has completed medical schooling ,pediatric residency training and followed by specialized training in Pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition which includes medical research and treatment of infants, children and adolescent with digestive, liver and nutritional disorders. Pediatric Gastroenterologists are specially trained to perform diagnostic tests of a child’s digestive system by using endoscope which is used to visualize the digestive tract and take tissue (biopsies) for investigation. At the same time various therapies are now possible with the use of an endoscope which was earlier dealt by a surgery.

Why a Pediatric Gastroenterologist ?

Children are not small adults. There bodies are growing and have unique medical needs. They usually express their concerns differently. They cannot always answer medical questions and are not always able to be patient and cooperative. Pediatric Gastroenterologist is trained to examine and treat the children in a way that makes them relaxed and cooperative. Pediatric Gastroenterologist focuses on the problems unique to pediatric patients, including growth, maturation, physical and emotional development and age related social issues. Pediatric gastroenterologists are specially trained to perform diagnostic tests of a child’s digestive tract. Special instruments such as endoscopes are used to examine the inside of the digestive tract or the obtain tissue samples (biopsies). Endoscopic procedures pediatric gastroenterologists perform are Esophagogastroduodenoscopy and Colonoscopy. Pediatric Gastroenterologist also treats bleeding, swallowing problems or other problems encountered in the intestines. They have expertise in the management of the nutritional problems in the children, including placement and management of feeding tubes and intravenous nutrition and diagnosing and treating infants, children and teens with liver disease