A photo of Maisam Abu-El-Haija.

Maisam A. Abu-El-Haija, MD, MS

  • Medical Director, Pancreas Care Center
  • Pediatric Gastroenterologist, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology
  • Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics
Each of my patients and their families has unique needs, which need to be taken into account when making treatment decisions. What works for one patient may not work for another.



I was inspired to pursue my career by children and knowing that their growth and health are so essential for them to reach their best potential. I enjoy making people feel better, and I believe in open communication between the provider and the family.

As a gastroenterologist, I specialize in pancreatic diseases, pancreatitis, growth and nutrition, and general gastroenterology-related diseases. Each of my patients and their families has unique needs, which need to be taken into account when making treatment decisions. What works for one patient may not work for another. I use evidence-based treatments and engage my patients in my thinking and decision-making, which is vital to the success of treatment.

I have won many awards, including the Clinical Care Achievement Award from Cincinnati Children’s. This award is for excellence in care provided to gastroenterology and pancreas patients.

In my research, I am focused on acute pancreatitis, predictive models for severe pancreatitis and diabetes that occurs after acute pancreatitis. I’m also actively working on research in acute recurrent chronic pancreatitis and total pancreatectomy islet auto-transplantation arenas.

In my free time I like to travel mostly, to explore new beaches when I can. My hobbies include exercise and doing outdoor activities with my family. I enjoy cooking with my children and trying new recipes without making a mess in the kitchen!

Additional Languages



Insurance Information

Cincinnati Children's strives to accept a wide variety of health plans. Please contact your health insurance carrier to verify coverage for your specific benefit plan.

View Insurance Information


Cytokine Profile Elevations on Admission Can Determine Risks of Severe Acute Pancreatitis in Children. Farrell, PR; Jones, EK; Hornung, L; Thompson, T; Patel, J; Lin, TK; Nathan, JD; Vitale, DS; Habtezion, A; Abu-El-Haija, M. Journal of Pediatrics. 2021; 238:33-41.e4.

621: Cystic fibrosis patient-specific organ on a chip to study CFTR-related disorders. Mun, K; Kim, H; Wikenheiser-Brokamp, K; Abu-El-Haija, M; Nathan, J; Palermo, J; Naren, A. Journal of Cystic Fibrosis. 2021; 20:s294-s295.

Total pancreatectomy with islet autotransplantation reduces resource utilization in pediatric patients. Kassam, AF; Cortez, AR; Johnston, ME; Zang, H; Fei, L; Lin, TK; Abu-El-Haija, M; Nathan, JD. American Journal of Surgery. 2021; 222:786-792.

International Survey on Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 and Acute Pancreatitis Co-occurrence in Children. Slae, M; Wilschanski, M; Sanjines, E; Abu-El-Haija, M; Sellers, ZM. Pancreas. 2021; 50:1305-1309.

Current State of Imaging of Pediatric Pancreatitis: AJR Expert Panel Narrative Review. Trout, AT; Ayyala, RS; Murati, MA; Squires, JH; Callahan, MJ; Chavhan, GB; Abu-El-Haija, M; Anupindi, SA. American Journal of Roentgenology. 2021; 217:265-277.

Impact of acute lymphoblastic leukemia induction therapy: findings from metabolomics on non-fasted plasma samples from a biorepository. Saito, T; Wei, Y; Wen, L; Srinivasan, C; Wolthers, BO; Tsai, CY; Harris, MH; Stevenson, K; Byersdorfer, C; Oparaji, JA; et al. Metabolomics. 2021; 17.

The Association of Smoking and Alcohol Abuse on Anxiety and Depression in Patients With Recurrent Acute or Chronic Pancreatitis Undergoing Total Pancreatectomy and Islet Autotransplantation: A Report From the Prospective Observational Study of TPIAT Cohort. Lara, LF; Wastvedt, S; Hodges, JS; Witkowski, P; Wijkstrom, M; Walsh, RM; Singh, VK; Schwarzenberg, SJ; Pruett, TL; Posselt, A; et al. Pancreas. 2021; 50:852-858.

A Practical Approach to Management of Acute Pancreatitis: Similarities and Dissimilarities of Disease in Children and Adults. Sellers, ZM; Barakat, MT; Abu-el-haija, M. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2021; 10.

Inaccurate Glucose Sensor Values After Hydroxyurea Administration. Tellez, SE; Hornung, LN; Courter, JD; Abu-El-Haija, M; Nathan, JD; Lawson, SA; Elder, DA. Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics. 2021; 23:443-451.

Improved Glycemic Outcomes with Early Initiation of Insulin Pump Therapy in Pediatric Postoperative Total Pancreatectomy with Islet Autotransplantation. Tellez, SE; Hornung, LN; Courter, JD; Abu-el-haija, M; Nathan, JD; Lawson, SA; Elder, DA. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2021; 10.

From the Blog

Stomach Pain and Acute Pancreatitis
BlogRare and Complex Conditions

Stomach Pain and Acute Pancreatitis: Questions To Ask Your Child’s Doctor

By Maisam Abu-El-Haija, MD3/31/2016

Patient Ratings and Comments

All patient satisfaction ratings and comments are submitted by actual patients and verified by a leading independent patient satisfaction company, NRC Health. Patient identities are withheld to ensure confidentiality and privacy. Only those providers whose satisfaction surveys are administered through Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center are displayed. Click here to learn more about our survey