Gastroenterology and Hepatology

What to Expect

  • Things to do before your appointment
    • Get records and testing results: Ask your child's primary care provider for testing results related to your child's condition, including biopsies and X-rays. Have your provider fax them to us at 206-985-3121 or bring a copy with you to the visit.
    • Know your child’s medicines: Be prepared to tell us which medicines your child is on now as well as the doses. Please include special diets, supplements, etc. Consider bringing the medicines with you to the visit.
    • Plan to arrive 15 minutes early to get your photo name badge and check in for your appointment.

    Learn more about what to do before your appointment.

  • Who does the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Clinic see?

    We see children with gastrointestinal tract, liver and pancreatic diseases. Some examples of these diseases are:

    • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
    • Disorders of the intestinal movement
    • Hepatitis and other forms of liver disease
    • Pancreatitis
    • Malabsorption and short bowel

    We often see children to help figure out why they are vomiting, having stomach pain, blood in their stool or why they have abnormal liver lab results. Learn more.

  • Who will see my child?
    • Attending Pediatric Gastroenterologist or Hepatologist – licensed doctor with specialty training in childhood gastrointestinal and liver diseases. Sees patients in clinic, oversees their care if they are admitted to the hospital, and performs most gastrointestinal procedures.
    • Fellow – licensed pediatrician completing specialty training in childhood gastrointestinal and liver diseases. If your child sees a fellow, they also will see an attending.
    • Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant – advanced practice provider (APP) who sees patients independently in clinic and has experience caring for children with gastrointestinal diseases.
    • Nurse – partners with the doctor or APP to answer questions. Provides information about your child’s disease, medicines, tests and care. Assists with minor procedures. You may meet them during the clinic visit or talk to them on the phone.
    • Medical Assistant (MA) – checks temperatures, height, weight and blood pressure. Helps you get settled in an exam room and ready for the provider. Answers some questions by phone.
    • Research Coordinator – facilitates patient participation in research studies. You may meet with them if there is a study for which your child may be eligible.
    • Dietitian – provides nutrition evaluation and support. Works with you and your child to make a plan for nutritional health, growth and development.
    • Social Work – skilled counselor who provides emotional support and helps to get the resources you need.
    • Psychologist – mental health provider skilled in the psychological impact of gastrointestinal diseases on children. You or your provider can request them. 

    Learn more about your GI providers.

  • How long is the first visit, and what can I expect?

    Your first visit is usually 30-60 minutes, but could last longer.

    It will include a complete history of your child’s illness, family history of illness and a physical exam. It may also include blood tests and simple X-rays.

    Usually, we do not do any gastrointestinal procedures or specialized X-rays during this first visit. We schedule them, as needed, for another day. If your child is having pain, our focus will be on understanding the cause of the pain and creating a treatment plan with you and your family.

  • What to bring
    • Clinic notes or reports related to this condition
    • Actual X-rays or X-rays on a CD, and reports of blood work and other tests
    • Your child’s medicines
    • Any forms that might need to be signed by our providers, for example any school forms
    • Snacks or entertainment for your child in case the appointment lasts longer than planned

    Learn more about other important things to bring to your visit.

  • Telemedicine appointments: What to expect

    The gastroenterology (GI) program is currently offering many types of appointments via telemedicine which are eligible to be covered by insurance without any additional fees or copays. Just like an in-person visit, you can expect your provider to review your child’s health history, perform visual exam, assess symptoms, review medications, answer any patient/family questions, and start or change treatment plans as needed. If the GI provider determines necessary testing including blood tests, imaging studies or endoscopy, this can be ordered at the time of the telemedicine visit. If you or your provider see the need for an in-person visit after, that can be arranged.

  • What can I expect after the first visit? Will we have a diagnosis?

    To help diagnose and treat your child’s condition, the provider will talk with you about the best approach. Additional tests and procedures like blood tests, X-rays, endoscopic procedures or tissue biopsies may help with treatment. If this is the case, we will schedule those for another time.

    Once we know your child’s condition, we can start treatment. Sometimes giving your child a diagnosis takes more than one visit.

    If your child needs follow-up appointments or tests, you will schedule those at Registration before you leave.

  • Will I continue care at the GI Clinic?

    After your first visit, your child’s primary care provider or the provider who referred them will get a copy of our consultation. Your primary care provider will be your child’s main resource for care. We will talk with them about the visit and if your child needs to return to the GI Clinic.

    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. If you are supposed to follow up with us instead of your primary care provider, we will note that on your clinic visit summary.

  • Research studies

    The GI Clinic has many ongoing clinical research studies. Providers are leading advancements in the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of childhood gastrointestinal, pancreatic and liver diseases. Feel free to ask about research and if there are any research opportunities for your child.

    If your child is eligible for a study, we will ask if you are interested in hearing more about it. If so, a research coordinator will talk with you and your child. Research is voluntary. Your child will receive the same quality care whether or not you participate.

  • To cancel or reschedule

    Call 206-987-2521 to reschedule or cancel. To cancel, call at least 24 hours before your scheduled appointment.

  • Late policy

    If you are more than 15 minutes late for your appointment, we may need to reschedule for a different day.

  • Questions?

    Phone: 206-987-2521, option 4 (nurse/MA line)
    Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    If you don’t reach a nurse, leave a message. They will return your call within 1 business day.

  • Preparing your child
  • Directions and parking

    Find your location in our map and directions section.

    Arrive 15 minutes before your appointment to allow time for registration.

  • Paying for care

    Learn about paying for care at Seattle Children’s including insurance coverage, billing and financial assistance.

For more information on visiting Seattle Children's clinics, please see Your Child's Clinic Visit.

Telemedicine Appointments: What to Expect

The gastroenterology (GI) program is currently offering some appointments by telehealth (virtual visit). Just like an in-person visit, you can expect your provider to review your child’s health history, perform a visual exam, assess symptoms, review medicines, answer any patient/family questions and start or change treatment plans as needed. If the GI provider determines testing is necessary, this can be ordered at the time of the telehealth visit. This may include blood tests, imaging studies or endoscopy. If you or your provider see the need for an in-person visit after, that can be arranged.