Foregut disorders affect the first part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract—the esophagus, stomach and upper part of the small intestines. Common symptoms include pain or burning in the upper abdomen, difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting and many others.

Phoenix Children’s provides a high level of care for children with conditions of the foregut. For example, our team includes three gastroenterologists who are pediatric endoscopists. They specialize in therapeutic endoscopy, which combines:

  • Endoscopy: The use of a thin, flexible tube with a camera and a light source on the end
  • Imaging: The use of X-ray and/or ultrasound, which provide detailed pictures of internal organs

Instead of making an incision in the skin, the endoscopist guides the endoscope through a natural opening in the body, such as the mouth, nose or anus. The endoscopist can slide very small tools through the endoscope to diagnose or treat many GI problems. 

Therapeutic endoscopy procedures that help children with foregut conditions include:

  • Removal of polyps, which are growths in the GI tract that usually are not cancerous
  • Bleeding deep in the small intestine
  • Stenting and dilations to open up sections of the GI tract that are too narrow
  • Banding, which fixes enlarged veins in the esophagus

Phoenix Children’s is one of only a few programs in the United States to offer these specialized services for children. This type of specialization is important, because children have unique medical needs.