For children born with colorectal malformations and other congenital conditions, managing their health is a lifelong challenge. While many abnormalities can be surgically corrected or managed at a young age, there are often issues that persist as children grow up, like bowel management, sexual dysfunction, urinary frequency/urgency and pregnancy concerns.
Alessandra Gasior, DO, recently joined The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center’s Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery to help ensure that patients with these conditions have a smooth transition of care once they reach adulthood.
Dr. Gasior, medical director of the Transitional Care Clinic at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, started out as a pediatric colorectal surgery fellow working in the program and saw the need for more coordination of care as patients transition to care in an adult setting. This prompted her to pursue a fellowship in adult colorectal surgery as well, and now she is the only surgeon in the world who is fellowship trained in both specialties, which gives her a unique perspective to provide the best clinical options for patients of any age.
Often in the pediatric world, multidisciplinary teams work hard to make care as efficient and stress-free as possible for patients and families. Many patients suffering from a colorectal malformation or chronic condition will need healthcare providers from different specialties throughout their lifetime.
Too often, when the patient reaches adulthood, that coordination of care no longer exists, leaving many patients without the level of care they need to adequately manage their symptoms.
The goal of the clinic is to empower patients to take ownership of their care at a young age – usually 12 years old – so that by the time they reach 16-18 years old, they are ready to transition to the adult care setting. The clinic also welcomes any adult patient living with colorectal malformations or congenital conditions to help them get back on track with medical regimens and provide long-term care coordination.
Dr. Gasior plans to gather data as patients enter the clinic to validate the need for more programs like this across the country to aid in the care of children and adults with this disease process.
To refer a patient to Dr. Gasior, call 614-293-3230.