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Children's Hospital expands care, opens peds endoscopy suite

by Cindy Abole
Public Relations

Children suffering from chronic abdominal pain, inflammatory bowel disease or other gastrointestinal disorders now have the addition of new expertise with the opening of MUSC Children's Hospital's pediatric gastrointestinal procedure suite.

The new $1 million pediatric therapeutic endoscopy suite expands services provided by the Children's Hospital's Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition team to diagnose young patients with esophageal, gastrointestinal, hepatic (liver) and pancreatic diseases and disorders. This advanced suite is the only one of its kind in South Carolina and complements services provided by the Children's Hospital and MUSC's Digestive Disease Center (DDC). More specifically, it brings together pediatric services and specialists in gastroenterology (GI), surgery, radiology, anesthesiology and other subspecialties, to provide a child-friendly, innovative approach to care for children and their families.

Peds Endoscopy
                                          SuiteDr. J. Antonio Quiros performs surgery in MUSC Children's Hospital's new pediatric endoscopy suite Sept. 4. For information, visit

The suite is under the direction of pediatric gastroenterology chief J. Antonio Quiros, M.D., who is the newest specialist to join the pediatric GI team of Bhanu Pillai, M.D., and Christine Carter-Kent, M.D., nurse practitioners and a nutritionist.
Earlier this year, the Children's Hospital's pediatric gastroenterology program was ranked for the first time, along with other pediatric specialties, among the top 50 hospitals in 2012-13 by U.S. News & World Report's Best Children's Hospitals report. MUSC Children's Hospital's program also hosts the state's only pediatric liver transplantation program, whose strong outcomes contributed to the program ranking.

Quiros said he worked with hospital leaders and digestive disease experts to devise a therapeutic pediatric GI procedure suite where all equipment is in the same facility, which is important. "This service follows the hospital's tradition of care that we share with patients and families in these types of procedures."

The center allows specialists to perform diagnostic and interventional endoscopic procedures in children and adolescents. GI specialists use X-ray and ultrasound imaging equipment in combination with an endoscope, a thin, flexible tube equipped with a tiny video camera and light on its end to view what's inside the body. The specialist also can remove tissue samples or objects or place treatment in a child's upper intestine or lower digestive track. Some of the procedures offered will include pediatric endoscopy, colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, stent placements, endoscopic ultrasound with fine-needle biopsies, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, stricture dilation and fluoroscopy.

"Some patients have multiple, chronic medical problems and need a team of specialists to determine a proper diagnosis and set up an established plan of care for the patient and family," Quiros said.

The procedure room is located on the fifth floor of the Children's Hospital. Parents can accompany their child to the pre-operating area and wait for their return. The new room's design was the result of months of collaboration coordinated by Quiros, the Digestive Disease Center's adult endoscopy services staff, GI equipment technicians and the hospital's clinical design and operations team. The suite features video monitoring and imaging equipment, an endoscopic ultra sound device, flat screen computers to generate reports, a high tech fluoroscope, endoscopes and other GI equipment.

These services, according to Quiros, will coordinate with DDC's Adult Endoscopy specialists, allowing adult and pediatric endoscopy specialists to collaborate, share skills and discuss treatments.

An important priority for Quiros and his colleagues is to treat patients statewide and regionally. Quiros is traveling around the state to meet practitioners and GI specialists to promote these specialized services that are available at MUSC. Rita M. Ryan, M.D., Department of Pediatrics chair, is promoting the service with pediatric leaders in other cities in S.C. Quiros is already seeing patients, receiving referrals from elsewhere in the state and plans to coordinate and host regular educational pediatric GI conferences for specialists starting in 2013. Most importantly, Quiros added an additional clinic day for his team so they can eliminate the backlog of patients waiting to see a pediatric gastroenterologist.

"Dr. Quiros brings new expertise and skills in a higher level of pediatric endoscopy that are unique to our patients," Ryan said. "His leadership and experience complement and strengthen the services already provided by our nationally recognized pediatric GI and nutrition team."

For now, Quiros wants to focus on providing the highest level of patient care, hiring more trained providers to support his service, coordinate research opportunities and establish specialty training for graduate medical education.

"With the support of caring, trained GI experts and staff, plus the commitment with hospital leadership in this specialty, there are no limitations to what we can do," Quiros said.

Pediatric Gastroenterology Team
J. Antonio Quiros, M.D., (chief), Bhanu Pillai, M.D., Christine Carter-Kent, M.D., Analina Bayang, R.N., Tina Jordan, R.N., Jo Allison Duane, R.N., Kelli Miller, Jennifer Beall, R.N., Deborah Oliver and Colleen Carver


Friday, Sept. 7, 2012

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