Created to provide the highest quality comprehensive care to children and families with gastrointestinal polyps, Boston Children's Center for Pediatric Polyposis aims to prevent or reduce complications of the disease, promote clinical and basic research and educate families and health care providers about polyp-forming conditions. Our team includes specialists from the departments of Gastroenterology, Genetics, Pediatric Surgery and Oncology.
Boston Children's Center for Pediatric Polyposis is the only pediatric oriented center of its kind located within a freestanding children's hospital.
Patients are generally referred by their primary care physician or by another specialist to this gastroenterology program. The GI team consists of two pediatric gastroenterologists at Boston Children's Hospital and one adult gastroenterology consultant based at Brigham and Woman's Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Instititute. Outpatient pediatric consultations are conducted in the GI clinic in the Fegan Building. Adult family members who are at risk or affected by polyps may arrange for separate consultation with the adult gastroenterologist. The Gastroenterology Procedure Unit is the primary site for pediatric endoscopy at Boston Children's Hospital. This is a full service unit providing sedation or anesthesia as needed and offering all forms of diagnostic and therapeutic endoscopy. Services include upper GI endoscopy, colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, pouchoscopy, video capsule endoscopy, small bowel enteroscopy, and advanced techniques for polypectomy and polyp ablation.
Gastrointestinal polyps may occur due to an inherited genetic condition. Multiple family members may be affected or at risk. Special DNA tests can be very helpful to identify these individuals. Consultation with a genetics counselor or a geneticist is an important part of an initial evaluation.
Surgery may be needed for certain patients with polyps that are too difficult to remove with endoscopy alone, for high risk pre-cancerous conditions, or for other complications. The surgical team consists of three pediatric surgeons. Our surgeons have special expertise in minimally invasive intestinal surgery including colectomy and additional expertise in tumor surgery.
Cancer prevention is an important focus of this polyposis program. Therefore, a senior faculty member from the pediatric oncology department provides consultation for clinical care and development of clinical practice guidelines.
Additional important members of the center staff include a research assistant and pediatric specialists from dermatology, endocrinology, radiology, and pathology. Other specialists are consulted on an as needed basis depending on special findings or circumstances.
Patient Registry and Clinical Research
Improving the quality of patient care and prompting clinical research are two important goals of this polyposis program. Our patient registry helps to facilitate these goals.