Cook Children's Advanced Pediatric Endoscopy Program
Cook Children's is among a limited number of centers across the country offering advanced endoscopy for children with gastrointestinal diseases. Our specially trained team uses minimally invasive procedures to treat conditions that would otherwise require surgery. We're at the forefront of using confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE) to diagnose food allergies and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We work closely with referring physicians and families to develop treatment plans tailored to individual needs.
Choosing Cook Children's for advanced endoscopy procedures
Our team treats patients who travel from across the region for pediatric gastroenterology care. We offer diagnostic testing and treatments for infants, children, teens and young adults. When you refer a patient to our team, you'll find:
- Expertise: Our program leader, Clifton Huang, M.D., is a board-certified pediatric gastroenterologist with additional training in advanced endoscopic procedures. He and his team have particular expertise performing balloon enteroscopy, endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) and confocal laser endomicroscopy.
- Minimally invasive approaches for complex conditions: We use minimally invasive, outpatient procedures to address many gastrointestinal issues, including management of gastrointestinal strictures at the esophagus, small bowel, and bile and pancreatic ducts. We also use such procedures to evaluate esophagitis, pancreatitis and IBD. Many of these conditions would otherwise require surgery. Our team can also use endoscopy to take biopsies, remove foreign bodies, control bleeding, and place gastric and gastric-jejunal feeding tubes.
- Real-time food allergy and sensitivity testing: Our team is among the first centers to use confocal laser endomicroscopy for pediatric patients with gastrointestinal disease. This technology provides high-resolution, magnified images (up to 1,000 times) of the mucosa in the digestive tract. We have been using CLE in the evaluation of atypical food allergic disorders where we can expose the mucosa to suspected food allergens and identify allergic reactions in real time.
- Research to improve IBD care: We're also developing ways to apply endomicroscopy to IBD care. The technology can already help us diagnose IBD, as well as evaluate disease exacerbation and response to treatment. In the future, we hope to use this technology to administer medications and measure response to treatment in real time. Our goal is faster identification of effective, individualized therapy, to manage chronic conditions and get children back to daily routines.
- Support services: Our Child Life specialists work with patients at every stage of care. They help children learn what to expect during endoscopic procedures. And they provide comfort throughout therapy. Our social services team offers resources to assist families in times of physical, emotional and financial stress. Depending on the child’s needs, there may also be many other people as part of their health care team.
Exciting endomicroscopic breakthroughs for children with rare or complicated gastrointestinal conditions
Pediatric gastroenterologist, Clifton Huang, M.D., shares fascinating insights into the advancing treatments and procedures, including endomicroscopy, that are bringing new hope for children with rare or complicated conditions.
Partnering with you for pediatric gastroenterology care
From the moment you contact us, you'll appreciate the commitment and expertise of our team. We believe that the best patient outcomes start with building strong working relationships with all caregivers.
We encourage referrals for pediatric patients with gastrointestinal disease who may need an endoscopic procedure. We're ready to evaluate your patient's immediate needs. And we'll provide care to ensure the best long-term outcomes.
When you refer a patient to our program, you can trust that we'll keep you well-informed as part of the team. We want and respect your involvement in your patient's care. You'll have access to our physician portal so that you can monitor your patient's progress throughout treatment.
When your patient returns home, you'll once again serve as the primary physician. However, we'll still be there to provide support. We'll prepare you to deal with any situation that may arise, and we'll always be a phone call away.
Advanced technology: Using endomicroscopy to diagnose food allergies and IBD
Cook Children's is one of the first pediatric medical centers to use confocal laser endomicroscopy to help children with gastrointestinal diseases. This advanced technology provides high-resolution images of mucosa, magnified up to 1,000 times. We use it for:
- Food allergy and sensitivity testing: We start by spraying mucosal tissue with one or more suspected food allergens. Using endomicroscopy, we can then see any allergic reactions in real time. We can also use the technology to take biopsies of inflamed tissue, to identify food sensitivities and diagnose conditions such as Celiac disease. After testing, our dietitians help families create healthy meal plans, tailored to each patient's needs.
- IBD diagnosis and monitoring: Endomicroscopy also helps us more accurately diagnose and manage IBD. For newly diagnosed patients, we can develop a treatment plan based on the examination. For patients already receiving IBD therapy, we can monitor inflammation and adjust treatment as needed.
Research focus: Using endomicroscopy to advance IBD care
With support from Cook Children's Health Foundation, our team is developing endomicroscopy protocols to improve IBD management. Currently, only 50% of patients with IBD find relief within the first year of treatment. Finding the right therapy can take months and sometimes years.
With endomicroscopy, we can view mucosal activity at the cellular level. This can potentially help us measure therapy response in real time, after administering a medication directly on mucosa tissue. (We may also be able to evaluate multiple medications in one procedure.) This approach could help patients with IBD find the right therapy faster and enjoy a better quality of life.
Meet pediatric gastroenterologist Clifton Huang, M.D.
Board certified in pediatrics and pediatric gastroenterology, Dr. Huang is among the very first pediatric interventional endoscopy physician to lead an endomicroscopy program at a children’s hospital. He has published numerous works related to children with rare or complicated conditions, such as those related to inflammatory bowel disease, as well as advanced treatments and procedures, including endomicroscopy.
Collaborative care from experts in pediatric therapeutic endoscopy
Our team is specially trained to use advanced endoscopy procedures to treat children with complex gastrointestinal diseases. We offer minimally invasive endoscopic interventions for many gastrointestinal diseases, including:
- Congenital biliary and pancreatic strictures
- Esophageal strictures
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
Working closely with colleagues in Gastroenterology, Dr. Huang and his team perform endoscopic interventions to meet each patient's needs. We offer these advanced endoscopic procedures:
- Balloon enteroscopy
- Confocal laser endomicroscopy
- Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography
- Endoscopic ultrasound
- Nasal endoscopy
- Video capsule endoscopy
Working together is in our DNA
It takes more than medicine and research to ensure that patients reach their goals, it also takes compassionate collaboration. Dr. Huang and his team work with you, your patient and the family to provide the best pediatric care for gastrointestinal diseases. We offer the most advanced procedures and therapies available today, to give patients the best future.
Designations and recognition
When you refer a patient to Cook Children's for pediatric advanced endoscopy services, you can trust that you're choosing a team with the expertise, resources and commitment to provide the best care possible.
The Magnet® designation is considered the international gold standard of nursing excellence. Cook Children's Medical Center is the first pediatric medical center in North Texas, and the 10th in the world, to receive this prestigious designation four consecutive times.
Cook Children's is recognized as a Top Children's Hospital nationally by The Leapfrog Group. This award highlights our widely recognized achievements in patient safety and quality.
Connecting with us
At Cook Children's, we respond to patient referrals quickly and efficiently. We understand the critical needs of your patients. Our pediatric advanced endoscopy team will work directly with you and your patient's family.
Call us at 682-885-1990 for a consultation or to refer a patient. We're ready to help schedule an appointment or assist with insurance approvals.
Coming from outside of Texas?
Our team in Global Health Services supports families who travel to Cook Children's for medical care from across the country and around the world.
Our concierge service is here to help with every detail. We work with families to:
- Schedule appointments
- Plan travel
- Find accommodations
- Offer financial counseling and insurance approvals
- Arrange translation services
Please contact our Global Health Services care coordinator if you need help with out-of-state or international referrals at: