12 August 2010 | Dr Mike Thomson | Paediatric Gastroenterologist | The Portland Hospital
Dr Mike Thomson is recognised internationally as a leading paediatric gastroenterologist with a particular expertise in endoscopy.
Gastrointestinal problems in children are very common. Up to 5% of infants have gastro-oesophageal reflux, for instance, and although many of these conditions may have been overlooked in previous years, we are now much more aware of them.
Children of all ages can suffer from abdominal pain and this can be due to many different factors. While a minimally invasive approach has to be taken with children, some times it is important to investigate complaints so that conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, which can be debilitating, are not missed. Other more common conditions, such as Coeliac disease, can cause problems with growth, and afflicted children often complain of recurrent abdominal discomfort.
Simple constipation is also often overlooked but it can cause severe pain over a long period of time. It must also be remembered that pain can sometimes be down to conditions such as migraine or even bullying at school and a holistic approach is necessary so that the child can be assessed from all angles.
Growth and Nutritional Problems
These are at the cornerstone of childhood gastrointestinal management and it is important to not miss any condition that can prevent the proper absorption of nutrients. We must also bear in mind that children who feel unwell will tend to eat less and it is paramount to work closely in a team with a paediatrically trained dietician. Conditions causing poor absorption can be as simple as Giardia, a parasite acquired in this country and abroad, which can reside in the bowel for months, if not years.
Equally, absorption issues such as Coeliac disease are common and, increasingly, allergic diseases causing gut-related inflammation, such as cow’s milk protein problems and soya protein problems can be noted in up to 8% of infants.
This is a very common condition which can be treated effectively and investigated very well with endoscopy. An exciting new development is a special operation called an endoscopic fundoplication, which Dr Thomson performs. Esophyx operations via mouth to tighten the valve between the stomach and the gullet/oesophagus avoid scarring, and only one night in hospital is needed. Dr Thomson leads for endoscopy in Europe in paediatrics using cutting-edge, state-of-the-art endoscopes (fibreoptic instruments) to reach any part of the bowel.
Dr Mike Thomson practises at The Portland Hospital in London and Sheffield Children’s Hospital. For further information or to make an appointment with Dr Thomson please call 020 7390 8315 or visit www.paediatricgastroenterologist.co.uk