Gastroenterology and Hepatology What to Expect

If you are scheduled to visit Gastroenterology/Hepatology – whether for an evaluation, test, procedure or surgery – you'll want to come prepared.

In this section, we'll help you find out what to expect before, during and after a visit and get the answers to some common questions. Learn more about what to expect (PDF).

Before the Appointment

It is very important that you:

  • Ask your child's primary care provider for any prior lab results related to your child's condition, including biopsies and X-rays, and bring them with you. This ensures that your Seattle Children's provider has all the needed information and avoids duplication of tests.
  • Ask your child's primary care provider to fax your child's records to us at 206-985-3121.
  • Be prepared to tell us which medicines your child is on now, as well as any special diets, supplements, etc.
  • Come on time for your appointment (please allow 20 minutes to park and check in).
  • Bring snacks for your child in case the appointment lasts longer than planned.

Clinic visit

What happens during a clinic visit?

Your child's legal guardian will be asked to sign a consent form that allows Seattle Children's to treat your child. We will also verify your address, phone number and insurance information. You will be given a set of stickers with your child's name on them.

After check-in, a medical assistant (MA) will take you and your child to an exam room. Next, depending on the reason for the clinic visit, members of the Gastroenterology/Hepatology team will see your child.

During the appointment, your doctor will look at your child's medical records, examine your child and create a treatment plan with you as a family. If your child is old enough to understand, the doctor will make sure to talk to your child about what is going to happen next. Usually, we do not do any diagnostic or treatment procedures during this first visit.

If your child is having pain, our focus will be on understanding and treating the cause of the pain.

How long will I be at the hospital for my appointment?

Whenever possible, we'll schedule all your child's appointments with multiple providers for the same day. Although this can make for a long day, many families find this is much easier and faster than having to go to separate doctors' offices on different days.

Our goal is to provide personal, coordinated multidisciplinary care. You can expect to have some waiting time throughout the day. You may want to bring snacks and toys or other things to distract your child while waiting.

After the Appointment

We will make sure you leave the appointment with detailed instructions about what is to happen next, and try to answer all of your questions. We will provide you with phone numbers to call us if you have questions after you leave.


Our team is committed to helping children who need surgery and their families cope well with the experience. We want you to know what's going to happen each step of the way. Learn more about what to expect if your child is having surgery, including:

Your Child's Stay at Seattle Children's

Find out what you need to know about your child's hospital stay, including: