Pediatric Gastroenterology

Stony Brook Medicine

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    Overview All infants and children experience digestive upsets at some point and in most cases, their primary care physician can help them get better. But when disorders of the digestive system are severe, persistent or complex, families may be referred to a specialist in children's digestive disorders. This kind of specialist is known as a pediatric gastroenterologist. At Stony Brook Children's, the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition serves Suffolk County as a referral center for complex cases. We specialize in diagnosis and long-term care for children with gastrointestinal, liver, pancreatic and nutritional disorders including including celiac disease at our own Celiac and Gluten Sensitivity Center, the first comprehensive center on Long Island to address celiac and gluten issues for children and teens.

    Committed to delivering comprehensive, collaborative care, our gastroenterology department conducts about 5,000 outpatient visits, and 750 inpatient consults and endoscopies per year. The Division is actively involved in clinical and basic science research in the field of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition. We also teach medical students, residents and fellows affiliated with the Stony Brook University School of Medicine.

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    Stony Brook Children's Services at East Setauket
    4 Technology Drive
    Stony Brook, NY 11794
    (631) 444-KIDS

    Stony Brook Children's Services at Hampton Bays
    225 West Montauk Highway
    Hampton Bays, NY 11946
    (631) 444-KIDS

    Stony Brook Children's Services at Islip
    2701 Sunrise Highway
    Islip Terrace, NY 11752
    (631) 444-KIDS

    Stony Brook Children's Services at East Moriches
    492 Montauk Highway
    East Moriches, NY 11940
    (631) 444-KIDS

    Stony Brook Children's Services at Patchogue
    450 Waverly Avenue
    Patchogue, NY 11772
    (631) 444-KIDS

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    Our Team Our team of board certified pediatric gastroenterologists is complemented by highly trained nurse practitioners, a registered dietitian, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and celiac educators. We work closely with our state-of-the-art endoscopy unit staff as well as motility laboratory staff. Pediatric anesthesiologists provide anesthesia for all endoscopy patients - a minimally invasive procedure that is used to diagnose a number of gastrointestinal issues including celiac disease. Together, we provide multidisciplinary care drawing upon all the resources and specialists of our academic medical center as needed, including pediatric surgery, pediatric radiology, pediatric anesthesia, pediatric intensive care, and more.

    Anupama Chawla, MD - Division Chief and Director of the Celiac and Gluten Sensitivity Center
    Grace Gathungu, MD
    Jeffrey Morganstern, MD
    Michelle Tobin, MD
    Janet DiFalco, NP
    Kathleen Usmani, NP

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    Services A complete range of diagnostic and treatment options are available through the pediatric gastroenterology division — more comprehensive in scope than any other hospital in Suffolk County. Services include:

    • Upper endoscopy
    • Capsule endoscopy
    • Colonoscopy
    • Removal of intestinal polyps
    • Placement of gastrostomy tubes (PEG)
    • Control of intestinal bleeding
    • Evaluation for gastro esophageal reflux (GERD)
      • Impedance studies
      • BRAVO 24 hr pH monitoring
    • Evaluation for Crohn's disease and Colitis
    • Intestinal motility studies
    • Lactose breath test
    • Liver biopsy

    In addition, our Celiac and Gluten Sensitivity Center provides comprehensive evaluation, treatment and management of celiac disease and related disorders including gluten sensitivity/intolerance. We take a multidisciplinary approach, which means connecting children and families with the appropriate Stony Brook Children’s experts, including registered dieticians.

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    Patient Resources In addition to the education and support provided by the pediatric nurse practitioners on staff, our patients and their families participate in support groups such as:

    Reach Out for Youth (ROFY) with Ileitis and Colitis. Provides education and support for children with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Call (631)293-3102 for more information or email or search for ROFY on Facebook.

    Suffolk County Celiacs Support and Awareness Group. Provides education and support to persons suffering with gluten intolerances including celiac disease, dermatitis herpetiformis and gluten sensitivities. Meetings are held the first Tuesday each month at 7:30 p.m. at the West Islip Community Center, 90 Higbie Lane, West Islip, NY 11795. Email for more information. 

    Cystic Fibrosis Support Group (in collaboration with the Division of Pulmonology). For parents or caregivers of children with cystic fibrosis. Meetings are held the third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at Middle Country Public Library, Centereach Branch, 101 Eastwood Blvd. Call (631)580-6075 or (631)839-8926.

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    Research and Education Research and education are vital components of our work. Our pediatric gastroenterology fellowship program is American College Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited.

    The division is actively involved in clinical and basic science research, routinely presents papers as well as invited lectures at national conferences, and has a long list of publications in professional journals. Topics of current research interest include:

    • Celiac disease — We are participating in a multicenter celiac study headed by University of Maryland
    • Gastro esophageal reflux — pH monitoring
    • Inflammatory bowel disease — We are a site for a national IBD registry
    • Eosinophilic Esophagitis
    • Nutrition related research in children with cystic fibrosis

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    Advances and Recognitions Recognition. Anupama Chawla, MD has repeatedly been named among the Top Doctors-New York Metro Area by Castle Connolly.

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    Definitions BRAVO Ph monitoring system - This measures acidity in the digestive tract and replaces a previous less sensitive, less comfortable technology

    Capsule endoscopy - This diagnostic test involves a tiny capsule the size of a pill that is swallowed and takes pictures of the entire small intestine over an 8 hour period.

    Colonoscopy - Permits a visual examination of the colon.

    Control of intestinal bleeding - Done endoscopically using state of the art modalities like heater probes, clips, argon coagulation.

    Evaluation for gastro esophageal reflux (GERD) - Clinically and using 24 – 48 hour reflux monitoring.

    Impedance studies - Test to determine if contents from the stomach are coming up into the esophagus.

    Intestinal motility studies - Measures how well the esophagus is doing its job.

    Lactose breath test - Can help determine whether the patient is lactose intolerant.

    Placement of gastrostomy tubes - Feeding tube placed in the stomach, also known as a g-tube.

    Removal of intestinal polyps - Performed endoscopically.

    Upper endoscopy - Procedure using a lighted, flexible endoscope to see inside the upper GI tract.

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