Pancreas Center

Treating Each Patient as a Whole to Achieve Best Possible Outcomes

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. Accredited by the National Pancreas Foundation, 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.

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Nationwide Children's Hospital is ranked by U.S. News & World Report for Gastroenterology and GI Surgery.

About the Pancreas Center 

National Pancreas Foundation LogoThe Pancreas Center at Nationwide Children’s provides specialized, multidisciplinary care for infants, children and young adults who have pancreatic problems. Our multidisciplinary team includes physicians and other professionals with unique expertise in pancreatitis and related conditions.

The Pancreas Center at Nationwide Children’s is accredited by the National Pancreas Foundation as an NPF Center – a designation awarded to only a few children’s hospitals in the United States. NPF Center accreditation is only awarded to programs that focus on multidisciplinary treatment of pancreatitis by treating the “whole patient,” aiming for the best possible outcomes and an improved quality of life.

The Pancreas 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.

Meet Our Team

Cheryl Gariepy, MD, a pediatric gastroenterologist who specializes in disorders of the pancreas is director of the Pancreas 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:

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
  • Advanced Procedures:
    • Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
    • Total pancreatectomy with islet auto-transplantation (TPIAT)

Pancreas Center Resources

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

NIDDK conducts and supports research on many of the most common, costly, and chronic conditions to improve health.

GI Kids (NASPGHAN)

Children's Digestive Health Information for Kids and Parents

The National Pancreas Foundation

The National Pancreas Foundation provides an array of information for patients, caregivers and health care providers.

Animated Pancreas Patient

National Pancreas Foundation’s Animated Patient’s Guide™ to Diseases of the Pancreas.

INSPPIRE (International Study Group of Pediatric Pancreatitis: In Search for a Cure)

The nation’s largest research consortium dedicated to pediatric pancreatitis.

CAPER (Collaborative Alliance for Pancreatic Education and Research)

Promoting and encouraging the advancement of knowledge and research for pancreatic diseases by facilitating multi-center studies.

 

Pancreatic Disorders We Treat

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