Polyposis Services

Providing Unique Expertise to Diagnose and Treat Children and Families With Hereditary Polyposis Disorders

Polyposis Services

The Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition at Nationwide Children's Hospital provides unique expertise for children and their families in diagnosis and treatment of hereditary polyposis disorders.

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

About Our Center

As a board-certified pediatric gastroenterologist, Steven H. Erdman, MD, has built a national reputation caring for children and adolescents with hereditary polyp disorders and colorectal cancer syndromes. Dr. Erdman is a member of the International Society for Gastrointestinal Hereditary Tumors (InSiGHT) and the Collaborative Group of the Americas on Inherited Colorectal Cancer (CGA-ICC) and was recently elected to the Governing Council of the CGA. 

The diagnosis and management of these children and their families is a multidisciplinary process that includes primary care physicians, geneticists, genetic counselors, adult and pediatric gastroenterologists, social workers, and surgeons. Dr. Erdman works closely with his colleagues in the Clinical Cancer Genetics Program and the Molecular Pathology Laboratory at the James Cancer Hospital of the Ohio State University Medical Center. His diagnostic expertise and team approach to treatment ensures that each child receives the best possible care.

The development of early and recurrent colorectal cancer is a reality for many of these families who carry a genetic mutation that can be passed from one generation to the next. Early identification of the child at risk allows for better surveillance and counseling with the goal of controlling cancer risk and improving quality of life. For those with polyposis disorders, regular endoscopic surveillance of the digestive tract is an important way of controlling cancer risk. During endoscopy, polyps can be removed without surgery to control symptoms such as bleeding or pain, as well as to prevent more serious problems such as bowel obstruction and colon cancer.

With a focus on identifying and controlling the disease process, we are helping each of these children with a polyposis disorder and their families by developing a comprehensive, multidisciplinary management plan that seeks to reduce the fear, uncertainty, and needless suffering that can accompany these syndromes.

Conditions We Treat

Preteen Boy Leaning on Tree


A polyp is an outgrowth of tissue that can extend out into the empty space within the stomach, small intestine, or colon. Polyps can generally be divided into two groups: hamartomas and adenomas.

Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP)

Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) is an inherited colorectal cancer syndrome characterized by the development of polyps. FAP can be passed from one generation to the next.

Hereditary Non-polyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC)

Hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer, often called HNPCC or Lynch Syndrome, is an inherited cancer syndrome that affects the digestive tract, reproductive tract and other major organs. People with Lynch Syndrome have an increased risk of cancers of the stomach, small intestine and liver.

Juvenile Polyposis Syndrome (JPS)

Juvenile polyposis syndrome (JPS) is an inherited condition that is characterized by the development of polyps throughout the digestive tract. Most juvenile polyps are benign (noncancerous), but on occasion, these polyps can become cancerous.

Peutz Jeghers Syndrome (PJS)

Two findings make up Peutz-Jeghers syndrome: intestinal hamartomatous polyps and blue/black freckling or macules that can be seen on the lips, mouth, nostrils, hands, feet and genitalia.

Services We Offer

The division provides state of the art diagnostic and therapeutic services including:

Capsule Endoscopy

Noninvasive capsule endoscopy allows for visualization of the lining of the small intestine in areas of the intestine which cannot be seen with standard endoscopy.

Double Balloon Enteroscopy (DBE)

Double balloon enteroscopy (DBE) allows for direct visualization of the entire small intestine with the ability to obtain biopsies, to remove polyps, or to treat a bleeding site.

Upper Endoscopy

An upper endoscopy is a test that allows your child’s doctor to examine the lining of the esophagus (swallowing tube), stomach, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine).


A colonoscopy is a test that allows the doctor to look directly at the lining of the large intestine (colon) using a long flexible tube that has a light and video chip at the end (colonoscope).

Polyposis Research

Juvenile polyposis syndrome is an inherited condition that is characterized by the development of hamartomatous polyps throughout the digestive tract. This syndrome is known for its unpredictability.

Genetic mistakes in two genes (BMPR1A and SMAD4) have been linked to roughly half of the families with this syndrome meaning other causative genes remain to be identified.  

Faculty members at Nationwide Children’s are focused on learning more about how polyposis develops in order to improve diagnosis, treatment and prevention strategies.