Paul Harmatz, MD
Physician, Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Residency: Harbor-Univeristy of California Los Angeles Medical Center, Torrance, CA
Fellowship: Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
Board Certification: Pediatrics, Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Paul Harmatz, MD, is an expert in Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. He treats children diagnosed with ailments of the stomach, intestines, liver and pancreas. He can discuss nutritional management and techniques used to help children who are unable to consume food by mouth. Dr. Harmatz also leads clinical trials, including the first drug treatment trial for a genetic disease called Maroteux-Lamy syndrome or mucopolysaccharidosis type VI, also known as MPS VI. Patients with this disorder have found that a treatment of weekly enzyme replacement infusions greatly improved their quality of life. Dr. Harmatz served on the Harvard Medical School faculty for 12 years before coming to Children’s Hospital Oakland.
About one of every 25,000 babies born in the United States will have some form of mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS).
Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Gastrointestinal endoscopy is a procedure in which physicians use an endoscope, a flexible fiberoptic tube with a tiny TV camera at one end, to view the inside lining of the digestive tract. The camera is connected either to an eyepiece, for direct viewing, or to a color video screen or TV. The endoscope assists in diagnosis of gastrointestinal (GI) disease and may also be used for treatment.
Percutaneous gastrostomy is a technique in which a narrow plastic tube is placed through the skin, directly into the stomach. Once in place, the tube can be used to feed liquid food directly into the stomach. Because it goes through the skin, it is called percutaneous. Gastrostomy means making an opening into the stomach.
Maroteux-Lamy syndrome or mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS)
Seven distinct clinical types and numerous subtypes of mucopolysaccharidoses have been identified. They may also be known as Pompe, Huler or Hunter syndrome. Children with these diseases lack an enzyme required for breakdown of a complex sugar (glycosaminoglycan) into simpler molecules. Without the enzyme, the sugar remains in the cells, accumulating in tissues and causing severe damage. Children born with this disorder have short stature, joint stiffness, breathing and heart problems, and vision and hearing loss.
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