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preparing for your visit

Some children come to Dayton Children’s with a short-term gastrointestinal problem and need only one or two clinic visits to feel better. But many have a chronic condition that will affect them for months, years or even their entire lives. Whatever the case, our friendly and knowledgeable team is here to help, with expert treatment and a compassionate approach. We provide long-term follow-up care for patients as needed, and can help them transition to an adult care provider when the time comes.

Treatment for gastrointestinal conditions varies. It can involve making dietary changes, taking medication, getting infusions, utilizing a feeding tube or undergoing surgery. For patients who receive nutritional therapy by mouth, feeding tube or IV, we offer a comprehensive nutrition support service. Our experienced staff provides close supervision of these therapies.

visiting our clinic

A typical visit to the gastroenterology clinic involves discussing your child’s symptoms and medical history, a physical exam, conversation about any test results and medication needs, and time to answer questions and address any specific concerns. Depending on their symptoms and diagnosis, some patients may be seen by a pediatric gastroenterologist or by a certified nurse practitioner who is specially trained to care for patients with common gastrointestinal conditions.

Your child's provider can make a referral to the gastroenterology clinic, and we strive to see patients as soon as possible after we receive the referral. We request that relevant medical records, including growth charts and results of prior evaluations, are sent to us at the time of the referral so that we can provide the best consultation and do not repeat studies unnecessarily. In the event that your child’s provider sees an urgent need, the gastroenterology office can schedule next-day clinic appointments.

what should I bring to my child’s first appointment?

For your first visit to one of our outpatient clinics, we ask that you bring:

  • A list of your child’s medication(s) dose and strength
  • A CD of recent x-ray images, if not done at Dayton Children’s

how long will my appointment take?

Please arrive about 20 minutes early to complete registration forms. The amount of time of your actual appointment will vary depending on the information needed, the examination and the testing needed.

This appointment is for a consultation only. No procedures will be done at this visit. Other tests may need to be scheduled at a later date.

Please allow at least one to two hours for your child’s first visit.

what will happen during my appointment?

After registration, one of our medical assistants or nurseswill check your child’s height, weight and vital signs. They will also ask questions about how your child is doing. Once this is completed, your child's physician or nurse practitioner will meet with you and your child to develop a plan of care.

Your child may need to have the following tests at their first appointment:

  • Lab work (blood tests, stool tests, stool specimen)
  • X-rays

If your child needs further evaluation by endoscopy or another procedure, our team of procedure nurses assists with scheduling the procedure, reviewing any prep instructions and procedure information with families, and helping the physicians with the procedure.

extra support when you need it

When patients are diagnosed with illnesses such as inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease, our team provides one-on-one education to help them and their families learn about what they need to do at home to manage their condition. These educational sessions can be scheduled at your convenience.

In addition to the staff in our division, we also work in collaboration with our colleagues in pediatric surgery, advanced ENT, allergy, psychology, radiology, pathology and other departments, to provide the best care for your child.

The gastroenterology division includes specialized registered dietitians who focus on children with gastrointestinal, liver, and nutritional disorders and are available to meet with patients and families as needed to provide comprehensive nutrition assessments and recommendations. They have extensive experience in helping children with special needs to meet their growth and development potential.

Sometimes, children need to be admitted to the hospital for serious gastrointestinal problems such as complications of Crohn’s disease, dehydration, growth failure or severe abdominal pain. The staff at Dayton Children’s is highly trained to care for these patients. Learn more.

contact us request an appointment

The gastroenterology department is available by phone at 937-641-3090 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. After hours, call 937-641-3000 to reach the hospital’s operator and ask for the gastroenterologist on call.

A physician referral is necessary prior to the child’s first outpatient visit. All follow up appointments will be made during your clinic visit or by calling central scheduling at 937-641-4000.