Gastroenterology Procedure Unit | Your Visit

Before the procedure

A visit to the Gastroenterology Procedure Unit (GPU) requires some planning and preparation. Depending on the procedure, your child may need to fast or do a more involved prep. This helps ensure that your child is safe during the procedure. These preparations are important because food and drink — including liquids, solid foods and breast milk — collect in the stomach. When a child goes to sleep under anesthesia, food and liquid stored in the stomach can rise up and enter the lungs, which can cause pneumonia.

When we schedule your child’s procedure, the GPU coordinator will let you know the specifics of the prep your child should follow. If the prep involves a simple fast, we will let you know over the phone. If the prep involves a total bowel cleanout, we will email you details about a week before your child’s procedure date. If your child doesn’t follow prep instructions or eats or drinks after the allowed time, we may need to delay or cancel the procedure.

If you have any questions about preparing for your child’s procedure, please call our triage nurse at 617-355-6172, option 3.

The day of the procedure

After you check in at the GPU front desk, we will ask you to fill out or review a small amount of paperwork. If your daughter is age 12 or over or has begun menstruating, we will ask her to provide a urine sample to rule out pregnancy.

Next, we will escort you and your child to the pre-op area, where one of our nurses will prep your child for the procedure. You will also meet with the gastroenterologist and the anesthesiologist.

You will wait in the waiting room during your child’s procedure. Out of consideration for patients who are fasting, no food or drink is allowed in our waiting area. We also ask that you refrain from using your cell phone in this space.

After the procedure

Following the procedure, the gastroenterologist will meet with you to discuss the procedure and any preliminary findings. After your child returns to the post-op/recovery area, a nurse will bring you back to wait while your child recovers from anesthesia.

If the clinician took tissue samples (biopsies) during the procedure, you should follow up with your child’s physician for those results.