Gastroenterology + Nutrition

Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program

Helping your child lead a normal life

If your child suffers from inflammatory bowel disease, you're far from alone. Conditions such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are becoming increasingly common in children — and are emerging at younger ages.

At the pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, we specialize in getting inflammatory bowel disease under control. We have the expertise to reduce inflammation of the digestive tract so that your child can live a normal, more comfortable life.

A team you can trust

Inflammatory bowel disease can be tough on a child. In addition to troubling day-to-day symptoms like diarrhea and abdominal pain, it can cause long-term problems such as growth failure, missed school days and an inability to participate in extracurricular and social activities.

At Tufts Medical Center, our gastroenterologists are well-versed on the many medications available to treat ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Plus, they continually stay up to date on the latest and most promising therapies.

What sets our program apart, though, is that we back our clinical expertise with a strong sense of compassion for and dedication to every patient. We understand what your child is going through — and do all we can to help him or her get better.

Here for you, every step of the way

If your child is experiencing symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, we'll try to see him or her promptly. At your first visit to our clinic, we typically review your child's medical history, results of previous tests and any other information that your pediatrician provides. If necessary, we may conduct further diagnostic testing such as endoscopies and may seek the assistance of Tufts Medical Center radiologists and gastrointestinal pathologists.

Once we confirm a diagnosis, we discuss treatment options with you. Conventional treatments include anti-inflammatory and immune modulatory drugs along with antibiotics. We also may discuss clinical trials at Tufts Medical Center that offer access to promising new medications. In addition, we often refer families for a nutritional consultation.

As a parent, you probably have plenty of questions about inflammatory bowel disease and your child's treatment plan. So our program's physician assistant offers a teaching session for all parents of newly diagnosed patients. Keeping you informed is important to us, and we'll be here to answer your questions throughout your child's course of treatment.

Who else might be involved in your child's care?

Sometimes treating inflammatory bowel disease calls for a multidisciplinary approach. For example, Tufts Medical Center pediatric dietitians can lend their insight on dietary changes that can lessen your child's symptoms. We can also connect you with psychological support, which helps some children in dealing with their health challenges. Our nurses are available to help answer your questions and address your concerns via telephone.

Fortunately, kids usually don't require hospitalization for inflammatory bowel disease. We may treat severe cases with long-term regimens of injections or intravenous (IV) infusions at our hospital. And while we try to avoid surgery, we can work with Tufts Medical Center colorectal surgeons and other surgical specialists to determine the right surgical approach for your child if necessary.

Dealing with inflammatory bowel disease isn't easy for kids or parents. But at Tufts Medical Center, we have the knowledge and experience to help your family get through it.

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), or more specifically Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, are chronic diseases that need to be monitored closely by a gastroenterologist.  Children diagnosed with IBD benefit from the care of a pediatric gastroenterologist until they become young adults.  Here at Tufts Medical Center, we aim to ease the transition between pediatric and adult specialist care by working closely with our adult colleagues in a formalized transition clinic so that our patient’s history and concerns are well communicated to those who will be taking over their care.

Why does an IBD transition program matter?

Just as the goal of parenting is to prepare children to be ready for their adult lives, the goal of an IBD transition program is to get pediatric patients ready for adult care and set them up for success when they start to see adult doctors.

What do we do in an IBD transition program?

The program does not require any additional commitments from families.  

As your child gets older and continues to see our pediatric GI team for routine follow up, we prepare them to be more and more independent in their healthcare by teaching them about their disease and needs, encouraging them to ask questions and participate actively in their own care, and educating them about what to expect in an adult GI appointment.

When the patient is ready and with the family’s permission, the pediatric GI team and the adult GI team will meet to discuss the patient’s medical history before scheduling a joint appointment with both your primary pediatric GI doctor and your new adult GI doctor here at Tufts Medical Center to ensure a smooth transition.

Do we have to see an adult GI doctor at Tufts MC?

Currently, our transition program is a collaboration between the pediatric GI team and the adult GI team at Tufts MC.  One of the main benefits to transitioning to an adult GI doctor here at Tufts MC includes the accessibility of your child’s past medical records, including any endoscopy reports, biopsy results, as well as imaging and labs.  Additionally, we are able to see you together in an appointment to ease the transition process.

How can I find out more?

If you are already a Tufts Medical Center GI patient, please ask your child’s physician about the program.  We welcome new patients to our practice whether you are already diagnosed with IBD or you are concerned that you or your child have IBD. Call today to book an appointment.

Khoa D. Tran, MD

Khoa D. Tran, MD

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Accepting New Patients

Virtual Appointments Available

Online Scheduling Available

Title(s): Pediatric Gastroenterologist; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Pediatrics, Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Appt. Phone: 617-636-3266
Fax #: 617-636-8718

Neurogastroenterology, motility, general pediatric gastroenterology, chronic constipation, gastro-esophageal reflux/pH studies, other general pediatric GI and nutrition disorders

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