Treatment Programs

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Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program

The MassGeneral Hospital for Children Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program provides a multidisciplinary approach for the care of children and adolescents with inflammatory bowel diseases (ulcerative colitis, indeterminate colitis, and Crohn’s disease).

  • 1-877-PEDI-IBD (877-733-4423)

Children with a chronic illness benefit from a multidisciplinary approach to their care. We have built a team with expertise in diagnosing and managing children and adolescents with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Team approach for individual patients

Patients are cared for by an IBD team that includes:

  • Pediatric gastroenterologist who specializes in caring for patients with IBD
  • Experienced IBD nurse
  • Nutritionist
  • Psychologist/psychiatrist
  • Social worker
  • Pediatric surgeon
  • Radiologists experienced in evaluating IBD
  • Pathologists with expertise in diagnosing IBD

These specialists work together in a single program to provide a comprehensive approach to the care of your child. Every patient requires individualized care reflecting this individuality. We strive to incorporate current evidence-based guidelines and ongoing clinical, translational, and basic science research to offer the most up-to-date treatment options for our patients.

Diagnosing IBD

Patient evaluation involves a detailed history and exam. Further testing may include blood testing, endoscopic testing, and radiologic studies. If your child needs a procedure (endoscopy or radiology study), our Child Life specialists will insure that you and your child’s experience is as easy as possible. In February 2012, we opened a new, state-of-the-art Pediatric Endoscopy unit with the newest equipment in a friendly and appropriate space for children, adolescents and their families.

Photo of the Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease team at MassGeneral Hospital for Children

The Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease team at MassGeneral Hospital for Children

An evaluation may also include radiology studies such as Upper GI series, Magnetic Resonance Enteroscopy (MRE), as well as other imaging techniques when indicated. Our colleagues in Pediatric Radiology use techniques that significantly limit radiation exposure to pediatric patients without compromising the quality of the study.

Innovative research

Our IBD Program also has an active research program in which patients will have the opportunity to participate in research studies trying to understand the relationship between IBD, intestinal bacteria, genetic factors, and the role that certain diets have on IBD. Our center has been selected to participate in many clinical trials of new medications for children who may not have responded to currently approved and available treatments.

Our Program’s Philosophy

  • Each child with IBD is cared for by a primary gastroenterologist and an IBD nurse who are part of a larger team that contributes to your child's care.    
  • You and your family play a key role on “Your IBD team.”
  • Your IBD team may include nutritionists, pediatric surgeons, social workers, stoma therapists, ophthalmologists, dermatologists, and psychiatrists or psychologists when necessary. 
  • Education about IBD is very important in achieving the best outcomes.  All new patients meet along with the family for a private teaching session about IBD.  We will offer additional educational experiences on websites we have verified as credible.  We encourage you and your child to ask questions and actively participate in all decisions affecting you or your child's care.
  • Research and new knowledge result in improvements in patient care and we offer our patients the opportunity, if they choose, to be part of studies that will lead to better care of children with IBD.  Our IBD program is one of the largest contributors to the Improve Care Now IBD Registry.
  • Communication and accessibility are important to us.  We have a direct phone number that is answered directly by the IBD nurse 1-877-PEDI-IBD (1-877-733-4423) and a page number that is answered 24/7 by a member of the GI staff. 

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a condition characterized by chronic inflammation somewhere in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.  This inflammation is not due to an infection.  At least 1 million people in the US have IBD, and 25% are children.  It equally affects boys and girls and occurs in all races.

Symptoms of IBD include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in bowel movements
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite
  • Mouth ulcers (or “canker sores”)
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Anemia
  • Delayed puberty
  • Poor growth
  • Joint pain

IBD is usually divided into 2 types, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, but some patients with colitis cannot be classified into these two groups and are considered to have indeterminate colitis.  Crohn’s disease can affect any and all parts of the GI tract (anywhere from the mouth to the rectum) while ulcerative colitis mostly affects the large intestine.

Treatment of IBD often involves nutritional therapy or medicines that your doctor will discuss with you depending on your type of IBD.  Exercise, sleep, and reduction of stress are also important in managing these diseases.

Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that is a chronic condition that may recur at various times over a lifetime.

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease in which the inner lining of the large intestine (colon or bowel) and rectum become inflamed.

While a good deal of your education about IBD comes from talking with your IBD team, we understand that you will want to look for information in other ways and from other sources (such as the internet).  Although the internet contains many sites with reliable information, it sometimes may be difficult to determine the most trustworthy websites to learn about IBD.

We have listed a few sources of information that you may find useful:

The Pediatric IBD FoundationOur Pediatric IBD program belongs to a collaborative group of Pediatric IBD centers that has developed this website to provide information for both parents and teenagers about IBD.

Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of AmericaA national foundation that seeks to educate and promote research on inflammatory bowel disease.

Improve Care Now – An established network of Pediatric Gastroenterology centers in the United States committed to improving the care of children with IBD through quality improvement measures.

Child Life Services

Child Life Services at MassGeneral Hospital for Children assists children and adolescents coping with illness and medical treatment.

Studying the Genetics of Early-Onset Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Dr. Moran is a pediatric gastroenterologist who practices clinically in the Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Programs at MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Newton Wellesley Hospital. He conducts clinical and basic science research to better understand the cause of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Frontiers in Pediatrics Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition 2013

This course is designed to meet one or more of the following Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education competencies: Patient care; Medical knowledge; Practice-based learning and improvement; Interpersonal and communication skills; Professionalism; Systems-based practice

Child Life Services

Child Life Services at MassGeneral Hospital for Children assists children and adolescents coping with illness and medical treatment.

Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program

Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care
32 Fruit Street
Suite 6D
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 877-733-4423

Public Transportation Access: yes
Disabled Access: yes

Patients or healthcare providers may call the Pediatric IBD Program by calling 1-877-PEDI-IBD (877-733-4423) and the staff at the Pediatric IBD Program will call your patient within 1 business day.

Patients may also call the Pediatric GI Call Center at 617-726-8705 to schedule an appointment.

Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program

Yawkey Building
55 Fruit Street
Suite 6D
Boston, MA 02114

MGHfC at Newton Wellesley Hospital Pediatric IBD Program

Newton Wellesley Hospital

6 South
2000 Washington Street
Newton, MA

Public Transportation Access: yes
Disabled Access: yes

Next Steps:

  • 1-877-PEDI-IBD (877-733-4423)
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