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Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Why choose Ochsner Health for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) care?

At Ochsner, our team of experienced, highly trained specialists is dedicated to providing leading-edge medical and surgical treatments for IBD based on each patient’s individual needs. Taking a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach, our specialists offer comprehensive care to help improve the lives of people with IBD and related conditions. We treat patients all over Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast, and we take pride in offering specialized care for pregnant patients and for those transitioning from pediatric to adult IBD specialists.

As IBD treatments evolve, our team is also committed to performing collaborative novel research with other specialties, including colorectal surgeons, pediatric gastroenterologists and rheumatologists/immunologists, to find ways to continue to make advancements in care.

As a patient in our IBD program, you will receive comprehensive care from a multidisciplinary team of specialists, including gastroenterologists, colorectal surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, rheumatologists/immunologists, dermatologists, ostomy nurses, dietitians and pharmacists. This coordinated approach allows you to see multiple specialists in one visit and ensures you will receive a specialized care plan tailored to your needs.

Our experienced team diagnoses and treats IBD and related conditions.

The two types of IBD are:

  • Crohn’s disease. This condition causes chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. While it can affect any area of the gastrointestinal tract, most commonly the small intestine and large intestines. Inflammation can reach multiple layers of tissue, and damaged areas appear in patches next to healthy areas.

  • Ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis causes inflammation in the large intestine and rectum. Unlike Crohn’s disease, inflammation only appears in the superficial layer of the colon lining, and damaged areas are continuous instead of patchy.

Conditions we treat that are similar to IBD include:

  • Microscopic colitis. While not related to IBD, microscopic colitis also causes diarrhea and inflammation in the colon. Physicians must take a tissue sample to examine under a microscope to make a diagnosis.

  • Immune checkpoint inhibitor colitis. Those individuals who receive immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy for certain types of cancer develop this type of colitis, which causes diarrhea and discomfort.

Pouchitis and other pouch-related complications. People who have had their entire colon and rectum removed during a surgery called restorative proctocolectomy with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis can develop inflammation of their pouch and pouchitis, which causes frequent watery stools, abdominal cramps and pelvic pressure.

Diagnostic methods vary depending on your symptoms and other factors but may include:

  • Upper GI endoscopy. During this procedure, a doctor examines your upper small intestine by inserting a long, thin tube called an endoscope down your throat and into your stomach and duodenum (the first portion of the small intestine).

  • Colonoscopy. During this procedure, the doctor inserts a long, flexible tube called a colonoscope into your anus and guides it through the rectum and colon and the lower part of the ileum (the last part of the small intestine). This procedure is used to determine the activity and distribution of the disease. They may also take biopsies of tissue or remove growths called polyps.

  • Imaging studies. A variety of imaging tests, such as contrast radiography, MRI or CT scans, can be used to diagnose IBD. These imaging tests are specialized to also evaluate the small intestine and Crohn’s-related complications such as strictures, fistulas and abscesses.

  • Blood tests

  • Stool samples

We offer leading-edge treatments with the goal of relieving symptoms, improving quality of life and preventing disease-related complications.

  • Medical management. This includes a combination of medications, endoscopic procedures and dietary changes.

Surgical options. Ochsner’s colon and rectal surgeons offer a full scope of advanced surgical procedures for IBD.

At Ochsner, we provide comprehensive support services to ensure every patient has the tools needed to manage IBD. These include:

  • Clinical care coordinators who help new patients with scheduling, gathering records, and preparing for appointments

  • Nurse navigators who meet with patients and answer questions about treatments and services and provide helpful resources

  • Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to help doctors implement inflammatory medical treatment

  • Registered dieticians to tailor treatment to IBD patients

FAQs

Symptoms for both conditions, Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis, may include persistent diarrhea, pain in the abdomen, bloody stools/rectal bleeding, weight loss and fatigue.

Currently, the cause for inflammation in the intestines is not completely understood. However, researchers believe it’s a combination of a dysregulation of the immune system, inherited genes and environmental triggers such as smoking, certain medications, stress and diet.

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Map of Ochsner-affiliated facilities that provide services related to Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Locations

Ochsner American Legion Hospital
1634 Elton Road
Jennings, LA 70546
  • : 5:05 p.m.-5:05 p.m.
  • Open 24/7
Ochsner Medical Complex - The Grove
10310 The Grove Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70836
  • Monday–Friday: 7 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Saturday: 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Ochsner Medical Center – New Orleans
1514 Jefferson Highway
New Orleans, LA 70121
  • Open 24/7