Gastroenterology is the medical specialty concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and study of diseases of the gastrointestinal system. This includes the esophagus, small and large intestines, liver, gall bladder, pancreas, colon and rectum. The goal of the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology is to provide excellence in patient care, research and education. Details on how we are meeting this goal are described throughout this website. We invite you to learn more about our activities and how you can help us improve the lives of children with gastrointestinal diseases.
Under the leadership of MacIovio James Lopez, M.D., Ph.D., Division Director of Pediatric Gastroenterology, the division provides diagnostic and treatment services for children with a wide range of both common and rare gastrointestinal disorders.
We strive to provide state of the art care for children and adolescents with all types of gastrointestinal disorders. The six clinically active members of the division evaluate over 1,200 new patients each year. Disorders commonly seen in the outpatient clinic include inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal polyposis syndromes, gastroesophageal reflux disease, peptic ulcer disease, malabsorption, pancreatitis, chronic hepatitis, and others.
Over 500 endoscopies are performed each year. This includes esophagogastroduodenoscopy, colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, stricture dilatation, sclereotherapy esophageal vericeal banding, and polypectomy. In association with the Division of Gastroenterology in the Department of Internal Medicine, we also offer anorectal manometry, esophageal manometry, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), biliary manometry, Hydrogen and 14C-Urea breath testing (for carbohydreate malabsorption and H. pylori infection, respectively), and 24 hour esophageal pH monitoring.
We are the only center in the state of Michigan performing liver transplantation in children. Approximately 35 children are evaluated every year for transplantation and 12-16 children undergo transplantation. We also participate in a specialty clinic for children with short gut syndrome. Because of the complexity of the medical and social aspects of these diseases, children are cared for in multidisciplinary clinics involving pediatric gastroenterologists, surgeons, dieticians, nurse specialists, and social workers.
We have active clinical and basic science research efforts aimed at developing innovative ways to improve care for children with gastrointestinal disorders. Increased clinical research in pediatric gastroenterology is critical and we aim to be leaders in this area. Because fewer children suffer from gastrointestinal diseases than adults, it is generally necessary to have multicenter studies of these disorders. We participate in a pediatric liver transplant national registry of children who have undergone liver transplantation and a national registry of children with severe, sudden liver failure. We are also initiating a medication trial in children with liver disease related to excessive fat storage in the liver - steatohepatitis.
Our basic science research program is funded by the National Institutes of Health and other agencies. We have one of the best funded pediatric gastroenterology basic science research programs in the country. Areas of ongoing research include the regulation and function of gastrointestinal hormones, regulation of muscle activity within the intestine, pancreatitis, development of the nerves of the gut, and and Bioengineering of Internal Anal Sphincter (IAS) and Colon.
In the area of education, our goal and commitment is to foster the development of future leaders in the field of pediatric gastroenterology. We have an active fellowship program that has trained individuals pursuing careers in both basic science and clinical gastroenterology research. We also aim to ensure that medical students and residents in the pediatrics program at The University of Michigan can effectively manage a wide range of common gastroenterologic complaints and refer to a sub-specialist in a timely manner.
Contact Phone Numbers
General Information: 734-763-9650
Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology
1500 East Medical Center Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-5718