treating gastrointestinal disorders in kids
Dayton Children’s offers comprehensive non-surgical treatment options for certain gastrointestinal disorders, including the procedures listed below. Our pediatric nurses and other staff work closely with parents to make sure kids are as comfortable and relaxed as possible before, during and after these treatments.
Note: Many of the treatments below require an endoscopy. An endoscopy involves inserting an endoscope — a small, flexible tube with a tiny camera on the end — down the throat and into the stomach and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). It lets the doctor see the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum.
Balloon dilatation is used to stretch out a narrowing in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract (called a stricture). This narrowing can result from scarring due to injury or surgical treatments. A specialized balloon is blown up at the stricture to open the narrowing. This allows for a smoother digestion through the GI tract.
botox (Botulinum toxin) injection
A botox (Botulinum toxin) injection is a bacteria-derived protein that relaxes muscles. It can be injected into sphincters (a muscle that helps maintain constriction) in the esophagus, stomach, or anus. It provides temporary, but not permanent, relaxation to treat various conditions where movement in the GI tract is decreased.
control of bleeding
If a child has continued bleeding in the GI tract, there are a variety of techniques that can be used to stop the bleeding. This can happen while doing an endoscopy. Techniques include injecting medicine into the surrounding tissue, heating/burning the bleeding tissue, or placing metal clips to pinch off the bleeding site.
foreign body removal
Children sometimes accidently swallow foreign objects that then become lodged in the GI tract. If needed, they can be removed by endoscopy.
PEG (Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy) tube placement
One way to place a feeding tube into the stomach is via the abdominal wall. During this procedure a gastroenterologist and a surgeon will use an endoscopy to place the tube. Depending on the need, a feeding tube with the tip in the stomach (PEG tube) or in the small intestine (GJ tube) can be placed.
During an endoscopy, your child’s doctor might discover a polyp, a growth of tissue that should not be there, in their digestive tract. These growths can be removed by performing a polypectomy. The polyp can be sent for further testing to determine if it is simply extra tissue or if it could be cancerous.