Gastroenterology + Nutrition

Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program

Helping your child lead a normal life

If your child suffers from inflammatory bowel disease, you're far from alone. Conditions such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are becoming increasingly common in children — and are emerging at younger ages.

At the pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program at Tufts Children's Hospital in Boston, we specialize in getting inflammatory bowel disease under control. We have the expertise to reduce inflammation of the digestive tract so that your child can live a normal, more comfortable life.

A team you can trust

Inflammatory bowel disease can be tough on a child. In addition to troubling day-to-day symptoms like diarrhea and abdominal pain, it can cause long-term problems such as growth failure, missed school days and an inability to participate in extracurricular and social activities.

At Tufts Children's Hospital, our gastroenterologists are well-versed on the many medications available to treat ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Plus, they continually stay up to date on the latest and most promising therapies.

What sets our program apart, though, is that we back our clinical expertise with a strong sense of compassion for and dedication to every patient. We understand what your child is going through — and do all we can to help him or her get better.

Here for you, every step of the way

If your child is experiencing symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease, we'll try to see him or her promptly. At your first visit to our clinic, we typically review your child's medical history, results of previous tests and any other information that your pediatrician provides. If necessary, we may conduct further diagnostic testing such as endoscopies and may seek the assistance of Tufts Children's radiologists and gastrointestinal pathologists.

Once we confirm a diagnosis, we discuss treatment options with you. Conventional treatments include anti-inflammatory and immune modulatory drugs along with antibiotics. We also may discuss clinical trials at Tufts Medical Center that offer access to promising new medications. In addition, we often refer families for a nutritional consultation.

As a parent, you probably have plenty of questions about inflammatory bowel disease and your child's treatment plan. So our program's physician assistant offers a teaching session for all parents of newly diagnosed patients. Keeping you informed is important to us, and we'll be here to answer your questions throughout your child's course of treatment.

Who else might be involved in your child's care?

Sometimes treating inflammatory bowel disease calls for a multidisciplinary approach. For example, Tufts Children's pediatric dietitians can lend their insight on dietary changes that can lessen your child's symptoms. We can also connect you with psychological support, which helps some children in dealing with their health challenges. Our nurses are available to help answer your questions and address your concerns via telephone.

Fortunately, kids usually don't require hospitalization for inflammatory bowel disease. We may treat severe cases with long-term regimens of injections or intravenous (IV) infusions at our hospital. And while we try to avoid surgery, we can work with Tufts Children's Hospital colorectal surgeons and other surgical specialists to determine the right surgical approach for your child if necessary.

Dealing with inflammatory bowel disease isn't easy for kids or parents. But at Tufts Children's, we have the knowledge and experience to help your family get through it.

Garrett Zella, MD

Garrett Zella, MD

Accepting New Patients

Virtual Appointments Available

Title(s): Chief, Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition; Pediatric Gastroenterologist; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Pediatrics, Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Appt. Phone: 617-636-3266
Fax #: 617-636-8718

General gastroenterology and nutrition, inflammatory bowel disease, gastrointestinal complications of neurologic disease, other general pediatric GI and nutrition disorders

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Dara Borto, MS, RD, CNSC, LDN

Dara Borto, MS, RD, CNSC, LDN

Virtual Appointments Available

Title(s): Clinical Dietitian; Clinical Instructor, Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
Department(s): Frances Stern Nutrition Center
Appt. Phone: 617-636-5273
Fax #:

Oncology, renal, surgery, nutrition support

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Stanley  Lau, MD

Stanley Lau, MD

Accepting New Patients

Title(s): Pediatric Gastroenterologist; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Pediatrics, Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Appt. Phone: 617-636-3266
Fax #: 617-636-8718

General gastroenterology and nutrition, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, eosinophilic esophagitis, other general pediatric GI and nutrition disorders

View Full Profile for Stanley Lau, MD

Marcella C. Radano, MD

Marcella C. Radano, MD

Accepting New Patients

Virtual Appointments Available

Title(s): Pediatric Gastroenterologist; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Pediatrics, Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Appt. Phone: 617-636-3266
Fax #: 617-636-8718

General pediatric gastroenterology, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, allergic disease of the GI tract

View Full Profile for Marcella C. Radano, MD

Khoa D. Tran, MD

Khoa D. Tran, MD

Accepting New Patients

Virtual Appointments Available

Title(s): Pediatric Gastroenterologist; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
Department(s): Pediatrics, Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Appt. Phone: 617-636-3266
Fax #: 617-636-8718

Neurogastroenterology, motility, general pediatric gastroenterology, chronic constipation, gastro-esophageal reflux/pH studies, other general pediatric GI and nutrition disorders

View Full Profile for Khoa D. Tran, MD

Our team respects the relationships that you have with your patients and their families. We'll update you on your patient's condition following every visit and call you to discuss any immediate or acute concerns.