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Families seeking care for colorectal and gastrointestinal (GI) conditions come to Shriners Children’s.

Shriners Children's provides innovative and compassionate care for children with bowel disorders or those experiencing problems with their digestive systems. Trouble with bowel control can lead to struggles at home, in school, in friendships, and with emotions, behavior and mental health. Many children can be more active, social, happy and independent if they have a plan for bowel management, with colorectal and gastrointestinal care that works specifically for them.

We bring specialists together to evaluate, diagnose and solve colorectal health issues, from bowel management and motility problems to complex conditions such as Hirschsprung disease, inflammatory bowel disease and anorectal malformations. We offer long-term care for patients with conditions that they may have been born with, as well as conditions that develop over time. Our ultimate goal is to help children heal, allowing them to enjoy life with the fewest limitations possible.

Our noted team of pediatric surgeons understands the physical and emotional impacts of colon and rectal diseases. They lead a multidisciplinary team of professionals who manage the entire range of care for patients of all ages. Whether it be complex surgery, medical management or social support, our team addresses the individual needs of each child.

When your child is seen in Shriners Children's for a colorectal or gastrointestinal condition, they receive the benefit of collaboration and care planning between social workers, care managers, child life specialists, nurses, dietitians and physicians. Teams run weekly meetings discussing all upcoming patients to make sure that each child receives the input of each of our team members.

In all cases, the goal is to care for the child’s overall health and well-being, proving medical treatment while also setting patients on a path to independence by freeing them from the social stigmas that may leave them feeling ashamed, depressed and alone.

The key to success is dedication, timing and teamwork among the patient, families and medical team. We tailor each child’s care plan to their specific needs to provide the best possible outcome.

About Our Pediatric Colorectal & GI Specialists

Our pediatric specialists on the colorectal and gastrointestinal team care for many patients with colorectal health issues and rare colorectal conditions. They also participate in key consortiums and learning groups, and they contribute to research studies. Through collaboration with experts at other institutions, our staff has developed a greater understanding of conditions and innovative treatments, all to improve outcomes for children with colorectal disorders.

Our colorectal and gastrointestinal care teams are active members of the Pediatric Colorectal and Pelvic Learning Consortium (PCPLC), an international group dedicated to furthering research on anorectal malformations, Hirschsprung disease, and other colorectal and pelvic disorders.

Distinguished Colorectal & Gastrointestinal (GI) Care Center in California

The colorectal and gastrointestinal care center located at Shriner's Children's Northern California is designated by California Children’s Services (CCS) as a Special Care Center. It is the only CCS Special Care Center for pediatric colorectal and gastrointestinal care in California. Families throughout the nation travel to Sacramento for comprehensive, compassionate care.

Learn more below about the colorectal and gastrointestinal conditions we treat and our commitment to the overall well-being of your child.

Specific treatments and services may vary by location. Please contact a specific location for more information.

Colorectal and GI Conditions, The Most Amazing Care Anywhere

Our noted team of pediatric surgeons understand the physical and emotional impacts of colon and rectal diseases. They lead a multidisciplinary team of professionals that manage the entire spectrum of care for kids of all ages – from infants to adolescents. Whether it be complex surgery, medical management or psychosocial support, our team addresses the individual needs of each patient. In all cases, the goal is to put patients on the path to independence by freeing them from the social stigma that may leave them feeling ashamed, depressed and alone.
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If your child avoids doing the things they love because of a bowel issue you need Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California. We are a highly specialized hospital for colorectal care our innovative program provides life-changing treatment for kids who struggle to control their symptoms. No more shame, no more embarrassment. Our doctors work relentlessly to provide the best possible outcome a confident childhood families from all over the world. Choose Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California. The most amazing care anywhere.

Matthew is doing so much better emotionally and mentally. He’s now this confident kid, willing to share his medical journey with others who might benefit from his story. I credit the Shriners Children's team, the Shriners family, for giving him that confidence.
Tiffany, Reno

Colorectal & Gastrointestinal (GI) Conditions Treated at Shriners Children’s

Our pediatric colorectal and gastrointestinal physicians and surgeons are among the most highly skilled and specialized in North America.

If you do not see your child’s condition, please search all colorectal and gastrointestinal conditions or contact the Shriners Children's location nearest you.

Understanding your Child's Colorectal & Gastrointestinal (GI) Appointment(s)

On the first visit, parents and children typically come for a group overview and educational presentation about bowel management. Our doctors and nurses explain the medicines, enemas and diets we use as treatment options. Each family has a one-on-one clinic visit to make a plan for their child. If referred to our hospital, you and your child likely will skip the group meeting and go directly to the one-on-one visit to build an individualized plan of care.

Sometimes, when deemed appropriate, your child may be requested to have bowel X-ray(s). This helps us with diagnoses and to see whether your child’s plan is working. A nurse will talk with you either in person or by phone to discuss your child’s results.

Our goal is for your child to empty their bowel daily with no accidents and to live with as few limitations as possible. Success depends on your child’s condition and following their plan closely.

How We Support Your Child’s Total Health and Well-Being

Families and patients say that Shriners Children’s feels like home to them, and it's no wonder to us. We know that a child's needs go beyond the physical. Our care teams support their social, emotional and developmental health with patient programs and activities.

A few examples include:

Not all programs are available at every location. Contact your child’s care manager or any member of your child’s care team to learn more.

female patient using crutches and playing a game

Making the Hospital Feel Like Home for Children

From card games, art projects and karaoke to movie nights, and attending local baseball games and theatre events, we engage children in play before, during and after their care journey. Children who feel like the hospital is home experience less fear and have better outcomes.

Innovative Treatments

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Alternatives to Rectal Enemas

Our team provides individualized diets, laxatives and psychosocial therapy to provide relief for children with constipation.


Shriners Children's pediatric surgeons perform this surgery to correct anorectal malformations that cause painful bowel movements. It involves the reconstruction of the anus to stretch or enlarge the opening where stool drains.

Colonic Irrigation

This alleviates immobile stool in the colon, preventing bacterial overgrowth and colitis. Our team teaches parents to perform colonic irrigation effectively at home.

Colon Resection

Colon resections, also referred to as sigmoid resections or bowel resections, are performed by our pediatric surgeons. The procedure involves removing part of the bowel to treat and prevent diseases and conditions that affect the colon.

Gastrostomy Tube Placement

A gastrostomy tube (G-tube) is placed in the stomach as a feeding tube for children who cannot get enough nutrition by mouth. Shriners Children’s uses G-tubes for children with esophageal, stomach or intestinal problems.


An ileostomy helps waste and gas exit the body without passing through the colon or rectum. An Ileostomy is typically used when a disease is preventing the colon from working properly or the colon has to be removed.

Ostomy Creation and Closure

Ostomy procedures change the way a child's urine or stool exits their body because of problems with their digestive or urinary system. Ostomies can be temporary or permanent.

Rectal Botox

Rectal Botox injections relax the sphincter muscles slightly, making it easier for a child to pass stool. Shriners Children's considers this method before surgical options.

Next Steps

Request an Appointment

Families and caregivers seeking treatment should start by contacting us for an appointment.

Log in to the Patient Portal

Parents and guardians of existing patients can email, request records, schedule appointments and more.

Refer a Patient

Physicians and healthcare providers can request appointments, start transfers or contact us with questions.