Initial Visit

  • Most new patient visits take about one hour for a thorough history and physical exam, review of potential diagnoses, and design of a plan for evaluation and therapy.
  • At your appointment, you and your child will be interviewed about your child's current symptoms, your child's medical history, your family medical history, and your child's current educational, social and psychological status.
  • Generally, special tests such as X-rays or ultrasound exams are not scheduled before your first visit.
  • Your child can eat normally before your appointment, unless you are advised otherwise by the gastroenterology staff.
  • Please bring medical records and X-rays. It is very important that you bring the X-rays themselves (as well as the X-ray reports) for any radiological tests that have been done, including ultrasound, CT scans, and MRI scans.
  • Your child will be weighed and measured. For children 3 years and older, blood pressure is taken. Your child also will have a complete physical examination. Adolescents are asked to wear a hospital gown for the exam, while younger children can usually be examined by careful shifting of clothing. In addition, your child may undergo a digital rectal examination. Reassurance from you or the nurse during this procedure makes your child more comfortable.
  • During the first appointment, blood, urine or stool samples also may be requested. In addition, ultrasound, upper gastrointestinal series, or unprepped barium enemas can often be accomplished the day of the initial visit.
  • The gastroenterologist will discuss the findings from your child's medical history and physical exam, and may recommend additional testing or treatment based on the diagnosis.

Your primary care physician will receive a complete report about the visit, potential diagnoses, recommendations, and any plans for further testing.


  • Invasive procedures are sometimes required for accurate diagnosis and therapy. The Ambulatory Procedure Center offers a specially designed environment for upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, colonoscopy, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatoscopy, suction rectal biopsy, percutaneous liver biopsy, pH probe studies, motility studies, and therapeutic procedures such as esophageal dilation.
  • The pediatric nurses have extensive experience in relieving pre-procedure anxiety, establishing intravenous lines, and monitoring patients during and after the procedures. Most of these procedures can be completed during a half-day stay in the Ambulatory Procedure Center.