Children whose digestive systems do not absorb enough nutrients and fluids experience bloating, dehydration, diarrhea and poor weight gain. This happens when one or more parts of a child’s small intestine cannot process energy, vitamins, electrolytes and minerals that the body needs to function well. This is called intestinal failure.
The Intestinal Care Program at Riley at IU Health uses the most advanced treatments to help your child’s intestine heal and to provide care when your child needs nutrition support. Intestinal failure can happen after a portion of the small intestine is removed during surgery (intestinal resection). This is called short bowel syndrome. Conditions that may require intestinal resection include:
- Atresia. This condition develops when sections of the small intestine are missing.
- Gastroschisis. This condition is diagnosed when the intestines remain outside the body.
- Necrotizing enterocolitis. This condition is diagnosed when intestinal tissue is inflamed.
- Stenosis. This condition is diagnosed when the small intestine has very narrow sections.
- Volvulus. This condition results from the small intestine becoming twisted.
Other conditions that can cause intestinal failure include:
- Feeding intolerance
- Radiation enteritis
The Intestinal Care Program at Riley at IU Health uses a multidisciplinary approach and is the only one of its kind in Indiana. Your child will receive care from a team of specialists in pediatric surgery, nutrition, pharmacy, wound care, social work and intestinal and liver transplants all at one location. The program provides total care for any child who needs IV or enteral (tube feeding) nutrition support.
You and your child can access services at our intestinal care clinic twice a month. The clinic provides opportunities for your child to take part in clinical trials for new medicines and nutrition formulations used to treat intestinal failure.
Advances in nutrition support allow our team to achieve great success in rehabilitating intestinal conditions. Children are often better able to feed using their intestine. These positive results mean that it is becoming fairly uncommon for children to need intestinal transplants or liver transplants.
When a transplant is required, the pediatric surgeons in the Intestinal Care Program collaborate with expert transplant services at IU Health to provide this specialized surgery.
Conditions & Services
Our pediatric specialists provide patient- and family-centered care for most related conditions. The links below provide more specific information about some, but not all, of the conditions that we treat.
We offer a number of different Intestinal Care Program services. Below are some, but not all, of the services that we provide. If you have a question about a specific service that is not listed here, please contact our program.
Care and condition management for intestinal failure is coordinated by our specialized pediatric gastroenterology, nutrition and surgery medical team.
Program Forms & Resources
Program Forms & Resources
The Intestinal Care Program at Riley at IU Health provides the following forms for parents, healthcare providers and personnel. We have also curated relevant resources from other websites and provided links with brief descriptions of the information that is available.
We provide multispecialty care for a number of conditions. Below are links to our related departments.
For Health Professionals
The Intestinal Care Program asks referring physicians to provide patient medical records, reports and parenteral nutrition scripts for review before a child’s appointment. This allows our multidisciplinary team to create an initial care plan.
Our physicians are actively involved in researching new treatments for the rehabilitation of intestinal failure patients.
Refer A Patient
Riley at IU Health works with referring physicians in Indiana and beyond.
Phone Number: 317.944.3774
Fax Number: 317.968.1055
Visit the Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition Research at Indiana University School of Medicine for information about the latest research in the field of Intestinal Care.
Riley at IU Health is committed to providing excellent educational opportunities for medical students and residents. In partnership with the Indiana University School of Medicine, we help train the next generation of pediatric healthcare specialists.