Rumination Syndrome Inpatient Treatment Program

Providing Intensive Treatment of Rumination Syndrome in Adolescents

Rumination Syndrome Inpatient Treatment Program

Rumination Syndrome, or RS, is an uncommon, often misunderstood and frequently misdiagnosed GI condition. Patients often undergo many tests and can go months or years without an accurate diagnosis. Even when the diagnosis is made, most families are not sure where to go for treatment.

Our Rumination Syndrome Inpatient Treatment Program exists to provide intensive treatment for adolescents with RS, to increase awareness of RS, and to conduct clinical research to further the understanding and treatment of RS. The program is designed for children ages 12 to 19, and is not suited for children younger than 12 or with cognitive or developmental impairments.

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

Why Choose Us

The Rumination Syndrome Program is leading the field of practice and research with patients with RS. Our team has worked with patients with very challenging symptoms who require inpatient care due to their medical status.  By working with patients in the hospital, we are able to provide the most effective care managing feeding tubes, dehydration, and malnutrition.  

Our program is unique in that all of our patients work with a large interdisciplinary team, addressing multiple aspects of the patient’s problem.  Our team consists of GI specialists, pediatric psychologists, massage therapists, registered dietitians, child life specialists, and therapeutic recreation specialists.

Program Outcomes 

During the first six years of our program, we have treated over 80 patients with RS from 30 states and Canada. The average age of our patients was 16 years, and on average, patients suffered from RS for between 3 months and 13 years before admission to our program. Forty eight percent were admitted on feeding tubes or TPN.

The average length of admission was 9 days. By the end of admission, 87% of patients were able to keep down at least 80% of their daily required calories and fluid. Of the patients who were admitted with feeding tubes or TPN, 83% of patients left the program no longer needing supplemental feedings.

Our research group currently is conducting a study to examine the long-term outcomes of patients who were a part of our program.

Allie G

Read Allie's Story

Name: Allie G.
Condition(s): Rumination Syndrome
Age Today: 19 Years

When Allie was 9-years-old, I started to throw up after almost every single meal. She was put on medicine to help her stomach digest food faster and it worked for a while, but not long.

Carrie W

Read Carrie's Story

Name: Carrie W.
Condition(s): Rumination Syndrome
Age Today: 26 Years

When Carrie was 9-years-old, she broke her ankle. This turned into Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, a nerve condition that causes severe pain. After years of being told she was faking her pain, she found relief at Nationwide Children's.

Patient Referrals

Patients cannot be self-referred or referred by their family. Referrals must come directly from a gastroenterologist who has knowledge of the patient’s medical history and prior testing, and who is willing to follow the patient once he or she is discharged from our program. Referring physicians should have already conducted enough of an evaluation to determine if their patient’s vomiting is better described by another condition such as gastroparesis or an eating disorder. Because patient cooperation, investment, and ability to work independently is essential to the success of treatment in our program, the program is best suited for adolescents without substantial developmental delay or psychiatric challenges.

The physician or gastroenterologist should contact the Motility Center by calling (614) 722-3456. Records can be faxed to (614) 722-3454. All records must be complete before the patient’s case is reviewed. Once records are complete, the medical team will review the patient’s history and decide if an outpatient clinic visit or further testing is needed. Patients are never directly admitted without having first met our program directors in person. This is to determine if our program can truly suit the patient’s needs and provide effective treatment.   

If the medical director and clinical director determine that our program can meet the patient’s needs, a date for admission is agreed upon, and information is sent to insurance for pre-authorization. This process may take several weeks to months.  Once the admission is approved, families receive a packet of information and a few forms to complete and bring with them to the hospital.

During the time between meeting us and your admission, we will discuss an interim plan. The plan may include goals such as maintaining nutrition and/or hydration, symptom management, frequent contact with your physician, or treatment with a therapist close to your family’s home.