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Clinic at the Royal Children's Hospital

Gastrointestinal disorders including coeliac, inflammatory bowel and liver disease.

The paediatric gastroenterologists practicing at CPMG are available for consultation regarding the full spectrum of gastroenterological disorders that occur in children. Particular areas of interest within the group include:

Coeliac Disease

This is a common condition in the Australian population. It is likely to be symptomatic in children less than 2 years of age and many teenagers and adults can have non-specific symptoms. There are many long term effects on health if not treated appropriately and so timely referral and diagnosis is essential. Children should have serology screening and if positive referred for a gastroscopy and small bowel biopsy.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

We look after patients with both Crohn's disease and Ulcerative colitis and see between 60-80 new patients each year. These conditions may present with diarrhea or abdominal pain, weight loss. Blood tests looking for evidence of inflammation plus stool culture exclude infection are important. Once this is completed then children are required to undergo gastroscopy and colonoscopy for a diagnosis to be made. Treatment is life long and includes dietary change plus medications. The care that is provided includes many disciplines including medical, dietitian, psychologist and others.

Liver Disease

There are many conditions that affect the liver and are very age specific. Liver disease could present as jaundice, upper abdominal pain or simply tiredness and lethargy. In which case liver function tests would show an abnormality. In these circumstances it would be best for a GP to inform us of these results so that we can triage such referrals in a timely manner.

The following paediatric gastroenterologists are available for consultation at CPMG:

Sebastian is a paediatric general surgeon with a subspecialty interest in colorectal conditions affecting neonates and children. He completed his PhD at The Royal Children’s Hospital, with a research focus on the motility patterns of children affected by slow transit constipation. Following completion of his paediatric surgical training at The Royal Children’s Hospital, he underwent fellowship surgical training at the prestigious Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.

Erin Dobinson is a Paediatric Dietitian with vast experience and passion for the field both in Australia and overseas across all age groups from preterm to adolescents.

She has worked at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne since 2007, across all major areas, and more recently continues in her role there specialising in faltering growth in young infants, and decreasing enteral feeding or NG dependency.

Her areas of specialty and interest include:

Mark is a senior clinician in the Department of Gastroenterology and Clinical Nutrition at Royal Children’s Hospital and a Clinical Professor at the University of Melbourne. He completed his undergraduate training at the University of Sydney and clinical and research training at the Sydney Children’s Hospital and Alberta Children’s Hospital in Calgary, Canada.

Professor Winita Hardikar is a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) for her significant service to medicine, particularly to paediatric liver disease and transplantation. 

Professor Winita Hardikar is the Director of the Gastroenterology and Clinical Nutrition Department Royal Children’s Hospital, and Head of the Liver and intestinal transplant program. She completed her medical training and a PHD at Melbourne University, and was a Fulbright scholar at Yale University. 

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