Pediatric Gastroenterologist

Parent Q&A

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  • Pediatric Gastroenterologist for Teen

    (4 replies)

    Do you have a recommendation for a pediatric gastroenterologist who is most importantly, great at diagnosing complex cases, and preferably, knowledgeable about recent research about healing the gut (diet, supplements etc).  Has anyone worked with Dr Gleghorn and if so, what was your experience?  Has she or other GI docs worked well for your teen/child?  Thank you! 

    Dr Gleghorn helped us figure out what was going on with my then 8 year old daughter. I found her to be thorough with good instincts. She figured it out right away but then did tests to back up her hunch. We are now working with her on a new issue, and I have every confidence she will be able to help us figure it out.  

    I don't recommend Dr. Gleghorn. We used her for years and made no progress at all. Our pre-teen/teen was suffering so badly from IBS that they missed months of school. We ended up using a different Pediatric GI,through Stanford Childrens and Lucille Packard Health It was 5 years ago for us, and we had a good experience with this Doc, but I can't remember her name. She referred us to an amazing therapist, Mindy Szelap510-394-5670. Mindy can point you in the right direction. After seeing the right GI, who, among other things, recommended getting an endoscopy, our kid got significantly better. The procedure itself reset our kids brain somehow. Our doc explained that sometimes the brain can be reset from anaesthesia, something we didn't take lightly, and we were lucky that as soon as our kid woke up, for the first time in months, wasn't in pain. She also recommended the true cure: Mindy Slezap, amazing therapist who specializes in Chronic illnesses, specifically stomach and gut issues, Mindy will definitely know the name of the GI docs that refer her. That whole GI group is good.... Best of luck. Been there!!!

    I love Dr. Gleghorn.  She just received Children's Hospital's highest doctor award last year.  She really listens and helps you figure out your issue.  I've been working with her for years now with my child and will be so sorry when we age out.

    Our teeenage child sees Dr. Sabina Ali at Children's hospital in Oakland, same department as Dr. Gleghorn.  Dr Ali is great.  We also have heard that most doctors there are good.  I would advise additional research on your part regarding Dr, Gleghorn.  Gastro issues can be really hard to diagnose and treat.  It took years to get the diagnosis and another 9 months to get a really effective treatment, as we had to step our way up from front-line treatment until we got to ones that work.  Don't give up & best wishes!

  • Seeking Pediatric Gastroenterologist

    (10 replies)

    We are seeking a gastroenterologist for our toddler son. Our doctor recommended a few to us but they all have terrible reviews unfortunately. We appreciate any names with parents that have had great doctors and experience with this type of MD

    Thank you

    Yvette Wild or Vivian Nguyen Oakland’s Children’s 

    I second both Vivian Nguyen and Yvette Wild.

    Vivian is quite responsive, and is hands down the most well-liked GI at CHO-O. Dr. Wild and her have collaborated on our tough case. They both speak highly of each other. Dr. Wild seems busier, based on time for a response to MyChart questions. From Berkeley, UCSF Mission Bay is definitely less convenient than CHO-O. Good luck with your son.

    I recommend Dr. Sue Rhee with UCSF. She was very kind to our kid and us and incredibly helpful to our kid with sensory issues that involved their digestive system. Good luck!

    We've been very happy with the pediatric gastroenterology department at UCSF, where we've been taking our child for the past sixteen years.  Doctors we've worked with include Melvin Heyman, Yvette Wild, Sue Rhee, and nurse practitioner Laura Cooke, and I highly recommend all of them. The clinic is at the Mission Bay campus in San Francisco, so it's not exactly convenient, but for a child with a serious illness or a complicated diagnosis (or if you're having trouble even getting a clear diagnosis), I wouldn't really consider anything else.  

    Any of the Pediatric Gastroenterologists at UCSF Mission Bay in the city- they are a solid team: Yvette Wild, Sue Rhee, Sara Kathryn Smith, Emily Perito, Patrika Tsai, Jim Bayrer, Hassan Hamandi, etc. I also love their NP Laura Cooke. I think Drs. Wild, Smith, and Rhee have really lovely bedside manners. You didn't mention what type of GI concerns are leading to this referral, but their specialties/interests vary a bit; the clinic can help steer you. (full disclosure, I'm a Pediatric RN, not a parent of a GI patient). 

    Have you considered Stanford Children’s. They have a GI clinic in Walnut Creek. I was a child with Crohn’s disease - diagnosed at 14 and now am a dietitian at Sutter in Berkeley. Please reach out to me if you need support. 

    For what it’s worth, Vivian Nguyen has great bedside manners and was able to rule out many things. She was not, however, ultimately successful in correctly diagnosing our son’s FPIES (that took 5 more months and two allergists).

    Doctors Gleghorn, Nguyen, and Setty at the Gastroenterology Department at Children’s in Oakland are all great! 

    What do you need a GI for?  My son has a fairly rare GI condition, so I had to do a tremendous amount of legwork and interviews and literally we found someone on my husband's plan who...wait for based in Fresno.  We do phone appointments.  I'm seriously unimpressed with GIs in the Bay Area (And we looked from Stockton to Stanford to Davis!) and have found our pediatrician and dietitian 100% more helpful.  I hope you have better luck!  If you can follow up and say what you need GI treatment for, you're more likely to get recs for a specialist who does just that.  Otherwise it's worth emailing many of them and actually assessing how much they know about your child's condition and what you can expect in terms of expertise/support beyond the general.

    Dr Goughner is the head of gastroenterology at Children’s in Oakland. We took our three month old to her, after a pediatrician mom friend said “that’s who I would take my son to”. She was lovely and supportive.

  • Pediatric Gastroenterologist?

    (2 replies)

    My 6 year old son has been suffering severe and constant stomach pain for 3 months. After numerous blood and stool tests plus an endoscopy and colonoscopy, the pediatric GI we were seeing said he doesn’t know what’s going on. My son has lost a lot of weight. Does anyone know of a good pediatric GI who could help us?

    Children's Hospital has a GI department.  We see one of the doctors there.  I think they are very highly rated -- maybe you can yelp the individual doctors to see which if any sounds good to you.  

    Thank you - we will try them !

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Pediatric Gastroenterologist for 7 month old

Jan 2015

My 7-month old seems to have reflux. She has aversion to feeding. We are currently working with a GI doctor and the doctor isn't sure what else to do for my daughter. Current treatment plan ''offer her the bottle first, then put whatever she doesn't take down the tube.''. I need to find someone who can figure out why she is still not eating well. Have you taken your child to a GI specialist that you love? Right now we're working with a GI specialist at a Children's Hospital, but we're open to any hospital team, or a private practice GI. Alternatively, any GI docs that we should avoid? Please feel free to ask moderator for my email if you'd rather discuss this privately. A

For a different perspective, you might try Dr. Yeh, who is at an integrative medicine clinic affiliated with Lucille Packard's pediatric GI clinic (but not based there). Dr. Ann Ming Yeh is trained in both conventional pediatric GI medicine and integrative medicine, so uses a combination of acupuncture and other integrative med techniques in addition to standard tests. While in my child's case that has not yet fully addressed all of the symptoms yet (very different from your daughter's), I like the approach, and have found that Dr. Yeh was much more proactive than the previous two pediatric GI specialists we saw -- and also made sure certain traditional tests were done. She has a clinic in Menlo Park and one in SF (see She's out on leave till March. -another mom of a child with GI issues

Hi there. It sounds like your kiddo has a g-tube, or similar? My 15mo girl has a g-tube, so I have some thoughts. We work with Gleghorn and Sue Hilk at CHO, and we love them, but they are only charged with GI stuff (growth, puke, poop, reflux). It's my understanding that we all must work with an occupational therapist who specializes in feeding issues, and their job will be to help increase the proportion of nutrition that goes in via mouth vs by tube. So talk with your ped and get a referral to an OT (Paula Rainey, Heather Horn, and ask your ped and the GI team who they recommend) who *specializes in infant feeding problems* (not just any OT). that way your insurance will pay for it (if you have it). The OT will help address the feeding issue; turn to the GI folks for help with reflux, allergies, and growth. Second, you asked about ''why the little one is not feeding''...this part is hard. I've been on this road for more than a year now, and it has taken me this long to accept that there are theories, but most docs/nurses can't answer this question definitively. Same for others I've talked with. My girl was intubated from birth for about a month, and these kids can have aversion to oral things, but there are a ton of other reasons as well that may apply. Nobody knows which one is true for them. So we invest our energy in slowly and gently transitioning them from not eating to eating a tiny bit to eating more. I wish you and your little one good luck on this road. If you or any other tubie parents would like to discuss more, please do email me. (I'm slow to respond due to this crazy life we have.) Lisa-

Check out the Feeding Clinic at California Pacific Medical Center. They have an interdisciplinary feeding team that will help you sort out the issues your child is facing. Peds health professional

Looking for a Pediatric Gastroenterology for teen

Jan 2015

My Teen kid needs to have a polyp removed from the stomach area. Can anyone recommend a Pediatric Gastroenterology doctor to do that procedure? (Kaiser or Blue Cross) Also, Is there anyone out there who went through it? Is it a complicated procedure or will you say a simple, safe one? Thanks for the support worriedmom

I highly recommend the Pediatric GI team at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital. All the providers are great, however I especially like Dr. Rhee and Dr. Tsai. Full disclosure- I work in a different department at UCSF, so perhaps I'm biased, but you could also say I'm in a position to know when a team is great! Bonus- they are just moving to the new hospital in Mission Bay (SF), and the brand-new facility is amazing. Another thing to consider- if your child needs a procedure performed under anesthesia (as upper endoscopies are), you may prefer a hospital with (specifically) pediatric anesthesiologists. UCSF has these- many other Bay Area hospitals/clinics do not. Best of luck! UCSF mom

Pediatric Gastroenterologist for 2 year old

June 2011

My 2 year old son has been diagnosed with Delayed Gastric Emptying, reflux, and multiple food allergies. We are currently working with a GI doctor who has been somewhat helpful, but my son continues to be in serious pain, and the doctor isn't sure what else to do for him. As his mom, that's just not good enough for me....I need to find someone who can figure out why he is still in a significant amount of pain.

Have you taken your child to a GI specialist that you love? Right now we're working with a GI specialist at a Children's Hospital, but we're open to any hospital team, or a private practice GI. Alternatively, any GI docs that we should avoid?

We live on the Peninsula, but we're open to driving anywhere to see someone great. Please feel free to ask moderator for my email if you'd rather discuss this privately.... Thanks so much! Concerned Mom

We really, really, like Fadi G. Haddad, M.D. who is in private practice in Walnut Creek (925-975-0775, He is extremely thorough and correctly diagnosed our daughter with a serious condition after it was missed by a highly recommended pediatric GI at Children's Hospital Oakland. Good for you for following your instincts and seeking another opinion in case something has been missed or there are other, better, treatments available. Good luck. Whitney

We have been very happy with Dr. Fadi Haddad. He is extremeley thorough and has a great way with children. His office is in Walnut Creek, near John Muir Medical Center. I'm not as fond of his partner though so stick with Haddad. Celiac Momma

i sent a request to the moderator for your email, but haven't heard back yet, so feel free to contact me directly at the email below. depending on the diagnosis, IMO there are a few good pediatric gi's in the area. however, my daughter was diagnosed w/ an autoimmune disease approx 9 months ago that presents much as how you've described your son and is related to food/environmental allergies and intolerances. it's called eosinophilic esophagitis, or EoE, (she also has eosinophilic colitis) and can only be diagnosed through scope (endoscopy/colonoscopy) AND tissue biopsy. for this disease, the dr must also be familiar w/ the protocol for where to biopsy. dr. cox at stanford has been recommended to us, but we currently see dr melvin heyman at ucsf. both are pediatric gi's, and both come highly recommended. however, for my daughter's diagnosis, i'm still figuring out if any dr in the bay area has enough experience treating this complicated disease. i have too much info to put in a post, so please email me if you'd like to talk further. best of luck, there's not much worse than seeing your child in such pain. emily

I am sorry that I didn't see your original post, but one of my children saw Mel Heyman at UCSF for reflux and didn't get much relief or help from conventional medicine. One of her friends also saw Dr. Heyman, had very extensive tests, and then the diagnosis turned out to be lactose intolerance, which maybe should have been considered before innumerable and invasive tests.

In the interim, two adult GI docs recommended a Dr. Haddad in Walnut Creek to us, both saying that they thought highly of him. We never saw Dr. Haddad because I submitted to having my child treated with acupuncture and herbs, and she is about 80-90% better. Go figure. Good luck to you. GI stuff can be tricky. Anon

Hi: My son suffered years of frequent stomachaches, loss of appetite, and malabsorption. He had no weight gain for a couple of years and was in 1 percentile for ht and wt. It was worrisome. Saw Dorsey Bass, at PAMF, then Mel Heyman at UCSF. Dr. Bass could find nothing wrong. Dr. Heyman ran extensive tests and surgery to scope out the problems. All very expensive but none of which provided any real answers whatsoever. Fortunately, we found an excellent Chinese acupuncturist and in 3 months, acupuncture has made a huge difference at a fraction of the costs. Anonymous

Pediatric Gastroenterologist for my 3 yr old

Dec 2009

I am looking for a referral to a good, experienced Pediatric Gastroenterologist for my 3 yr old. I am looking for someone who is willing to perform procedures themselves vs. Fellows as is the practice at the teaching hospitals such as UCSF or Stanford. Thanks in advance.

Elizabeth Gleghorn at Children's Hospital Oakland has been incredible. She is very responsive (we get emails responses at 10 at night!) and is head of the GI dept at CHO. Our kid is sort of complicated (in heart failure and has a feeding tube, etc) and she's been great to work with. She's kind of no-nonsense but has a great sense of humor if you can break through :-) Good luck! Jaime

My 4-year-old is a patient of pediatric gastroenterologist Fadi G. Haddad, M.D. in Walnut Creek, 925-975-0775, He is extremely kind and thorough and has done a wonderful job diagnosing and treating my daughter. We got to him after having a bad experience somewhere else. Dr. Haddad has performed several procedures on my daughter and yes, he does the procedures himself. I highly recommend Dr. Haddad. He is well worth the drive through the tunnel. Whitney

We have had great success with Dr. Fadi Haddad in Walnut Creek. (925-975-0775). He does his own procedures and is affiliated with John Muir hospital. Ellie

Two words: Children's Hospital.
-- Pediatric RN

Pediatric Gastroenterologist at Children's Hospital

May 2009

My daughter was recently referred by her pediatrician to the Children's Hospital GI department to rule out mal-absorption issues as she is just 17lbs at 17 months old. We have an appointment in late June with Dr Elizabeth Gleghorn. I'm interested in hearing about experiences with this MD. I am hoping that she will listen, is not too invasive with care and will take into account family history (both my husband and I were small babies, and I have GI issues). Thanks in advance for sharing your experiences. Angela

Hi, I am a therapist at Children's and work with many of her patients. I wanted to assure you that you are in very good hands with Dr Cleghorn and with CHO in general.

I have read positive reviews of Dr. Gleghorn on BPN. So there definitely are people who were happy with the help they received. My experience with Dr. Gleghorn is unfortunately not positive. I found her rather dismissive. I got the feeling if your child doesn't have a condition that she deems to be severe enough, she will not treat your child as a patient really needing any help. When talking to my child's other doctors at CHO, about the outcome of the visits, I heard that this was not unusual for her. Now, this could still just have been an isolated, unfortunate occurrence. However, other parents I have met over the past years, who needed a pediatric GI for their children, confirmed having had similar experience with Dr. Gleghorn. I have to say that all the children I am talking about, were born with systemic anomalies, and were clearly not simple cases that didn't need intervention. I have also expressed my concerns to other, new parents with issues similar to your child's. They also heard similar opinions from their own doctors about Dr. G. You may still go and see for yourself. If you don't feel you got the help you expected, I suggest you try to get referred to UCSF for a second opinion. Good luck.

pretty sure she's the doc we saw when my daughter had some apparent reflux issues. She was great-straightforward, reassuring, not at all invasive (recommended against a more invasive procedure that would have possibly given us more definitive info, in favor of the ''most likely solution'' w/ basically no adverse side effects.) She's smart, didn't mind lots of questions & challenges on my part. So don't worry.

I have worked with Dr. Gleghorn for 12 years and she is as dedicated a doctor as there is. At Children's Hospital Oakland we are all very dedicated and spend long hours there, but Dr. Gleghorn is surpassed only by a handful of doctors for the time she puts in at the hospital. She is an expert in Pediatric GI, unsurpassed by anyone else I have worked with in my career and I've had the finest training at the top medical centers in the country. Dr. Gleghorn is the one to see to make sure you are getting the best possible medical Pediatric GI opinion. Pediatric Specialist

Dr. Gleghorn was my son's Gastroenterologist (sp?) approximately 10 years ago. At one years of age he developed aspiration and needed a GT tube. I wouldn't say she has a cuddly bedside manner but she was a good fit for our family. I found her and her staff accomodating, knowledgeable and helpful through our four year ordeal. Of course this was 10-14 years ago but I imagine she has even more experience then she had at that time. Sharlene

Pediatric Gastroenterologist for 2 year old with stomach pain

April 2009

I have a 2 year old with stomach pain (gas pain or ????) throughout the night causing her to wake up hourly. She has a history of stomach problems from when she was 6 months old. Frequent vomiting, gas, pain, etc. She has had an upper GI and they found nothing abnormal. She does not have pain when she eats or drinks and reflux is not suspected. We can go to any area -even Sacramento area. Thank you! yvette

Dr. Fadi Haddad in Walnut Creek has helped my daughter with the sames kind of problems. He's very nice and genuinely concerned. Here's his info: Good luck! Mom whose been through a few pediatric GI docs