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The endoscopy clinic combines advanced technologies for endoscopic diagnosis and treatment with a care model designed for the comfort of pediatric patients and their families.
An upper endoscopy allows doctors to look inside the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach), the stomach and the beginning of the small intestine. A colonoscopy allows doctors to look inside the large intestine. To see inside, your child’s doctor will use a small, flexible tube with a camera at the end. The doctor will look for signs of irritation, swelling, bleeding or other problems and may take a biopsy. A biopsy is a very small amount of tissue that is taken from the lining of the digestive tract and can be examined under a microscope to help make a diagnosis and to help decide on the best treatment for your child.
Your child may have questions about what to expect before having an endoscopy procedure. Here are some common questions and ways to explain so that your child is comfortable and prepared. If you or your child has additional questions, we encourage you to call our child life specialist at (857) 238-7347.
The Pediatric Endoscopy Center at MassGeneral Hospital for Children offers a broad range of services, including therapeutic and interventional services not available by pediatric gastroenterologists at most children’s hospitals. Here is a partial list of our services:
All services, from reception through pre- and post-operative care, are provided in a dedicated pediatric space that contains games, books and toys, including an iPad. Pediatric nurses in our unit have specialized training in pediatric endoscopy. Our nurses and child life specialists work/play with our patients to reduce anxiety.
Once children are admitted, they and their family members move to the pre/post area, comprising six large patient bays around the nurses’ station. These bays are equipped with TVs, DVDs, tablets and video games. Nurses have a direct line of sight into each patient bay, but patients cannot look into other bays. All pre-procedure preparation is done in the bay. The unit is equipped to meet the needs of children with special needs. Individualized support from the child life specialist and nurses is provided in a specially equipped bay in which sound and lighting can be subdued to help reduce stimulation.
Once the procedure is completed, patients return to one of the patient bays where their family can stay with them until discharge. All necessary medications and food challenges are administered while the child watches DVDs, reads or visits with family members. The child life specialist is available throughout the child’s stay if additional support is needed.
Procedures can be broadcast nationally and internationally via video conferencing, facilitating shared expertise and increased communication among different medical centers involved in caring for children with specialized endoscopic needs. A second procedure room is used for more traditional endoscopic procedures.
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