About the Pediatric Colorectal Program

The Pediatric Colorectal Program (formerly called the PACE Program) at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia specializes in the evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and long-term management of children with colorectal conditions and anorectal continence issues.

We offer both medical and surgical therapies for the management of these disorders. Many conditions associated with long-term bowel management needs are diagnosed at birth and children may require colorectal surgery or procedures while they are still infants. Despite surgical correction, your child may still need assistance with bowel management as they grow and develop.

Our multidisciplinary team consists of leading specialists in pediatric colorectal surgery and gastroenterology. Other specialists who may be involved in your child’s care include pediatric urologists, dietitians, nutritionists, nephrologists, neurosurgeons, orthopaedics, social workers, wound care and ostomy specialists and advanced practice nurses. These clinicians understand the unique challenges faced by children with colorectal conditions and their families.

Our mission is to provide our patients with the type and level of care they need to achieve excellent clinical outcomes and improve their quality of life. We will work with your child and family to provide a successful bowel management program in the years following surgery so that your child may lead a normal, healthy life.

Bowel management after colorectal surgery

Normal bowel movement depends on a balance between a child's anatomy and physiology, as well as emotional and physical needs.

In order to achieve an effective bowel management program after colorectal surgery, we use a variety of evaluative tools and medications to find the balance that is right for your child. We tailor our recommendations to meet your child's needs, and incorporate medications, diet, activity and lifestyle changes depending on your child's underlying diagnosis, associated anomalies and overall lifestyle.

What we treat

We treat children with long-term bowel management needs associated with:

  • Anorectal malformation/Imperforate anus — a birth defect in which the anus and rectum don’t form normally during prenatal development, and the normal anal opening at the end of the digestive tract is missing or absent. Treatment options depend on the specific type of abnormality, and may include both medical and surgical therapies. CHOP’s Pediatric Colorectal Program brings together a multidisciplinary team of pediatric specialists to provide the best individualized treatment to each patient.
  • Hirschsprung's disease — a birth defect of the intestines in which nerves in the wall of the intestines do not form properly and affect peristalsis, the muscular movement allows the bowel to relax and move food through the intestines. Children with Hirschsprung’s disease will need surgery to remove the abnormal section of the intestine.
  • Spina bifida (myelomeningocele) — a neural tube defect that causes a decrease or loss of bladder and bowel control.
  • Pelvic anomalies such as cloacal malformations
  • Vaginal anomalies
  • Pelvic injuries

CHOP’s Pediatric Colorectal Program brings together a multidisciplinary team of experts in pediatric general surgery and gastroenterology to provide streamlined, coordinated care for your child.

Depending on your child’s specific condition and symptoms, their care may include evaluations with a variety of pediatric subspecialists. Children with potential motility disorders will be seen by both a pediatric surgeon and a GI motility specialist from the Division of Gastroenterology’s Lustgarten Center for GI Motility.

Learn more about what to expect during your child's first appointment with the Pediatric Colorectal Program.

Request an appointment

To determine if your child or patient can benefit from treatment through the Pediatric Colorectal Program, please call us at 215-590-8846. A member of our team will answer your questions and work with you to schedule an appointment or make other referrals as needed.

Next Steps
If Your Child Has Had Colorectal Surgery
GI/Motility Questions