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BIRMINGHAM (Mar. 14, 2013) –  Children with complex colorectal conditions are now being treated in the state’s first and only pediatric colorectal clinic.  Children’s of Alabama recently introduced a comprehensive approach to care for children with these conditions in its new Pediatric Colorectal Clinic, a cooperative effort of the hospital’s general surgery and gastroenterology services.
Dr. Mike Chen, Children’s chief of surgery, and Dr. Kirk Thame, assistant professor of Pediatric Gastroenterology, lead the clinic which is located on Children’s Russell Campus on the ground floor of the McWane building in clinic #1.

Common colorectal and gastrointestinal conditions treated include:  anorectal malformations, Crohn’s Disease, fecal incontinence, Hirschsprung’s Disease, inflammatory bowel disease, liver and small bowel transplants, motility disorders, familial polyposis syndromes, short bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis.

 “Our ultimate goal is to repair congenital malformations and treat chronic conditions in order to achieve the best possible results for patients and their families to not only function in life but to enjoy it, too,” Chen said.  “These can be life-altering conditions, and sometimes these treatments require follow up throughout a patient’s life.  We provide an environment where complex colorectal disorders can be assessed and managed medically and surgically.  Proper care of these problems can change a child’s life.”

Children’s Pediatric Colorectal Clinic provides multidisciplinary patient-centered care to treat and repair colorectal conditions in the hospital as well as on an outpatient basis. Close interaction with anesthesia, radiology, pathology, and nutrition services optimizes patient care.

“With such a large range of colorectal disorders and various opinions on how best to treat children with these conditions, patients and their families often do not receive the individualized attention they deserve in a comprehensive approach to care,” Thame said.  “Our strategy at the Pediatric Colorectal Clinic is to formulate a team of caregivers specifically for each patient’s family.  The effects of colorectal anomalies impact not only the patient but almost every member of his or her family, and we want to provide comprehensive care for all those affected.”

Patients are seen in the clinic after referral from a primary care physician.

Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children across the state and throughout the southeastern U.S. since 1911. For the past three years, Children’s has been ranked among the best children’s hospital programs in the nation by US News & World Report. Last year, patients made more than 634,000 outpatient and nearly 14,000 inpatient visits to Children’s from every county in Alabama and from 47 other states. With more than 2 million square feet, it is the third largest pediatric medical facility in the U.S. Children’s offers inpatient and outpatient services across its Russell Campus on Birmingham’s historic Southside with additional outpatient services provided at Children’s South and Children’s on 3rd. Primary care is provided at more than a dozen medical offices in communities across central Alabama. Children’s of Alabama is the only medical center in Alabama dedicated solely to the care and treatment of children. It is a private, not-for-profit medical center that serves as the primary site of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) pediatric medicine, surgery, research and residency programs. Children’s recently moved much of its inpatient services into a new building named The Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children. More information is available at