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Supportive Care During GI Procedures

Children’s Mercy is committed to helping your child feel comfortable, safe and relaxed when they come for a gastroenterology (GI) procedure. 

Your child’s procedure will be performed by one of our pediatric gastroenterologists (GI specialists). Although this may be a different doctor than your child sees in their clinic visit, all our providers are experienced and knowledgeable in GI procedures and your child is in good hands. Collectively, our providers perform more than 5,000 endoscopic procedures each year for children of all ages. 

In addition to our excellent doctorswe have an entire team of nurses, pediatric anesthesiologists, and child life specialists ready to care for your child. The Child Life team will explain to your child what to expect during their procedure in an age-appropriate way can also help them stay occupied with toys and games while they wait.

Your child's comfort is our priority

We follow 
a guideline throughout our hospitals and clinics called Comfort Promise. That means that any time your child needs to have a needle procedurelike a blood draw or IV, we’ll make sure they have options like numbing the skin, finding a comforting position, and having distractions available to make it less painful.  

Sometimes, having a simple choice, like whether to have their IV in their hand or arm, or what show they’d like to watch, helps your child feel more at ease before the procedure. 

If your child is having a procedure with anesthesia, we let them choose a scent for their anesthesia mask and wait to place their IV until they are comfortably asleep from inhaled medications. If your child needs other strategies to help them be more comfortable during their GI procedure, please let us know when we call to schedule the procedure. 

Procedure day: what to expect 

GI procedures take place at 
both the Children’s Mercy Adele Hall Campus in downtown Kansas City and Children’s Mercy Hospital Kansas in Overland Park, KSDepending on your child’s needs, they might have their procedure in the GI Procedure Room or in an operating room through our Same Day Surgery program. If your child needs lab (blood) work, we can usually do that the same day as your procedure. 

Procedures in the GI procedure room 

If we anticipate a typical, 
straightforward procedure, we usually schedule your child in the GI procedure room for their endoscopy procedureYou will check in at the Gastroenterology clinic (volunteers are available at the front desk of the hospital if you need help finding the clinic). 

Procedures in the operating room

For children with complex medical needs, or coexisting conditions like anxiety, autism or other special needs, we typically
 schedule their procedure in the operating room. We will give them a calming medicine by mouth in addition to via an anesthesia mask before doing any needle procedures like starting an IV. That way they are already asleep and comfortable before anything potentially painful occurs. 

If your child’s procedure will be in the operating room, you will come to the Same Day Surgery area to check in. Find out more about what to expect when your child has surgery or other procedures under anesthesia at Children’s Mercy. 

Getting Your Results

During some types of GI procedures, the doctor will 
remove a very small piece of tissue from your child’s GI tract which is then sent to the lab to be reviewed by a pathologist. This is called a biopsy. The biopsy can confirm a diagnosis and assist in developing a care plan. 

You can expect to hear from your care team with results of any tests within 7-10 business days of your child’s procedure.  

Recovering from a GI procedure

After your child’s procedure is complete, they will go to 
a recovery room to wake up from the anesthesia. Once they are awake, we will give them a snack and a drink and bring you back to see them. The nurse will give you written instructions about any follow-up care you need to knowThen, you’ll be free to head home. 

Most kids do not have any significant discomfort after a GI procedure. You can call (816234-3704 with any questions or concerns after you go home. A nurse will also call you the next day to follow up and make sure your child is recovering well.