Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
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Monroe Carell Jr.
Children's Hospital
at Vanderbilt
2200 Children's Way
Nashville, TN 37232

(615) 936-1000

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Constipation Clinic


Constipation is common among children of all ages, but it usually does not cause long-term health issues. It can diminish a child's quality of life, lead to emotional problems, and create family stress. While constipation is rarely a sign of more serious health problems, its many causes can make it difficult to diagnose and treat. Our nationally recognized clinical team will work with you and your child to explain a diagnosis and find solutions to chronic constipation.

Chronic constipation overview

There is not one definition of constipation that applies to all children. Children with constipation may have reduced frequency of stools, hard stools, pain with bowel movements, and/or difficulty passing stools or straining. Our overview offers basic information to help you understand this condition and how it may affect your child.

What sets us apart

Each child is unique, so we perform a thorough medical history and physical exam to develop an individual treatment plan. We make referrals to other specialties as needed, such as nutrition and psychology, to address dietary and behavioral or emotional concerns related to this chronic problem. Many of these other services are located here at Children's Hospital. 

Your visit

The first visit is a consultation with the doctor or nurse practitioner. You should prepare your child for a complete physical examination. During this visit, we may draw blood for laboratory testing or send your child to have an X-ray. Any further tests are typically arranged for another day. Your child may eat a regular diet on the day of the first appointment.

Our team

Our multidisciplinary team of pediatric gastroenterology physicians, pediatric nurse practitioners, registered dieticians, nurses, and child psychologists work together to provide the best possible care for your child.

Stacy Hawkins, APRN, CPNP
Elizabeth (Betsy) Perky, APRN, CPNP
Kim Huffman, APRN CPNP
Attending Physicians
Registered Dieticians (Ellen Strickler and Martha Ballew)
Lynn Walker, Ph.D.

Last Edited: June 23, 2016
Valued Participant of Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network