GASTROENTEROLOGY


Gastroenterology is a branch of medicine concerned with the digestive system, sometimes known as the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Dr Koekemoer is interested in paediatric gastroenterology with the experience to diagnose and treat your infant or child's digestive system problems. Because children and babies are growing and have unique medical needs, it is essential to see a gastroenterologist specifically trained for paediatric issues regarding the digestive system, liver or overall gut. Having a paediatrician who has a special interest in gastroenterology, you can be assured that your baby or child will be receiving the best possible care.

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Common paediatric gastrointestinal disorders include:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Children can also suffer from:

  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Dyspepsia
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Celiac Disease
  • Hirschsprung’s Disease (HD)

These consultations are for parents to discuss concerns, symptoms and ask questions or advice on their baby or child's wellbeing. During your baby or child's consultation with Dr Koekemoer, he will ask you questions about your child's current symptoms regarding nutrition, digestion and excretion, medical history of your child and your family and your child's current educational, social and psychological status. He will then do a comprehensive exam of your baby or child's health. Children experiencing gastro, digestive and intestinal problems often require a range of investigations and diagnostic tests of the digestive system to diagnose and identify treatment options for a range of gastroenterology related issues.

To accurately diagnose gastroenterology related conditions in babies and children, tests including ultrasound or x-rays, upper gastrointestinal series, blood tests, stool sample tests and sometimes additional testing such as endoscopy may be needed to diagnose the underlying condition.

Once Dr Koekemoer has completed the examination, you will also be informed of your child's diagnosis as well as the treatment options available to best care for your child's condition. He may also recommend additional testing or treatment depending on what he believes is the problem.

1What symptoms should I watch out for?

Parents should watch out for the following symptoms that could indicate a gastrointestinal disorder:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Trouble feeding/eating
  • Bloatedness
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
2What will treatment involve?

Treatment may involve medication and lifestyle changes for your child. In severe cases, endoscopy or surgery may be needed.

3What happens during an appointment?

A holistic assessment including a physical exam to search for any discomfort, organ enlargement, or fullness beneath the skin. Further tests after the consultation could include an x-ray, ultrasound, blood and stool sampling, as well as endoscopy if there is a need.

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