Pancreas Center :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Pancreas Center

The Pancreas Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital provides comprehensive multidisciplinary care for infants, children and teens suffering from diseases of the pancreas. Our approach to care places the patient at the center of a multidisciplinary team that focuses on treating the patient as a whole to achieve the best possible outcomes and quality of life.

We are affiliated with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Pancreas Clinic, recognized as a center of excellence by the National Pancreas Foundation (NPF).

The Pancreatitis Center is also a select participant of INSPPIRE (International Study Group of Pediatric Pancreatitis: In Search for a Cure), the nation’s largest research consortium dedicated to pediatric pancreatitis.

Pancreatic Disorders Treated

  • Recurrent acute pancreatitis
  • Chronic Pancreatitis
  • Pancreatic insufficiency (not related to cystic fibrosis)
  • Mass or cyst of the pancreas
  • Congenital abnormalities
  • Annular pancreas
  • Pancreas divisum

Our Team

Cheryl Gariepy, MD, a pediatric gastroenterologist who specializes in disorders of the pancreas is director of the Pancreatitis Center. She was a founding member of INSPPIRE, the International Study Group of Pediatric Pancreatitis: In Search for a Cure, which was the first national or international organization to begin studying pediatric pancreatitis. Dr. Gariepy is also a member of the American Pancreatic Association and the Collaborative Alliance for Pancreatic Education and Research (CAPER), which promotes and encourages the advancement of knowledge and research regarding pancreatic diseases by facilitating multi-center studies.

Our multidisciplinary team includes physicians and other professionals with unique expertise in pancreatitis and related conditions. Each specialty plays a dedicated role on the care team. Working together, they ensure the course of treatment accounts for all facets of the disease and symptoms. In addition to clinical expertise, our professionals are aware of the challenges and issues that pancreatitis can present, and are able to help patients and families to address those problems.

The care team includes:

Through our affiliation with The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, the Pancreatitis Center offers a comprehensive advanced procedures and seemless transition of care for young adults. Darwin Conwell, MD, Director of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at OSU/Wexner, is a renowned expert in pancreatic disorders. Under Dr. Conwell’s leadership, the OSU program has been designated as a Pancreas Center of Excellence by the National Pancreas Foundation (NPF).

Diagnosing Pancreatic Disease

When a child experiences symptoms of pancreatitis, a physician may perform some of the following in order to make a diagnosis:

  • Blood tests
  • CT Scan (computed tomography) of the abdomen
  • Pancreatic stimulation tests
  • Special MRI of the pancreas and biliary tree (MRCP)
  • Abdominal ultrasound (sonogram) of the abdomen
  • Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)
  • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), a specialized endoscopic procedure performed by a gastroenterologist

Treating Pancreatic Disease

Treating pancreatitis may involve some of the following:

  • Maintaining good nutrition during periods when it is difficult to eat
  • Relieving pain
  • Intravenous (IV) fluids
  • Vitamin and pancreatic enzyme supplementation
  • Removing stones from the ducts
  • Opening strictures in the ducts
  • Surgery

Pancreas Center Resources

Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000