Carilion Clinic's IBD team includes adult and pediatric gastroenterologists, surgeons, radiologists, and pathologists.
THE ROLE OF SURGERY
Some IBD patients will have to undergo surgery to treat their condition, but this is not the case for all patients.
Patients with IBD are often asked to see a surgeon. This can be done even if no operation is anticipated. Procedures are performed for IBD not because of the presence of the disease, but for specific reasons only. These reasons include patients who have excessive bleeding, have a bowel obstruction, or have bowel perforations. It is also done if the symptoms are debilitating and medication is not bringing them under control. And to prevent cancer, especially in ulcerative colitis, surgery may be a preferred option. Only a thorough discussion with the IBD gastroenterologist and the IBD surgeon can help determine if a patient will be better served with an operation or by continued medical treatment. The goal is to give the IBD patient the time symptom free, with the highest quality of life possible.
At Carilion Clinic's IBD Center, we offer all the surgical options that are available to the IBD patient. This includes the pouch procedures for ulcerative colitis and the full range of options for the patient with Crohn's disease. We offer over 30 years of experience in IBD surgery.
THE ROLE OF RADIOLOGY
Our IBD Team includes radiologists who utilize the latest imaging technology to help diagnose patients.
Radiology plays an important role in the initial diagnosis and clinical management of IBD, particularly in Crohn's disease. We offer radiology services utilizing the latest imaging techniques to help diagnose and manage IBD.
Patients with IBD might require a series of radiology tests, starting with traditional imaging techniques, such as a barium small bowel enteroclysis, the upper GI series and follow through, the double contrast barium enema, and defecography. Depending on the need, more advanced imaging techniques may be ordered. These advanced tests study the human body through the acquisition of "layers of body" converted to images, and include computed tomography (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and ultrasound. In particular, MRI of the small bowel (also called MR enterography) and of the pelvis offer crucial detail to the treating gastroenterologist and surgeon. These techniques allow us to clearly identify not only the disease extent and the stage, but also the degree of activity (inflammation) of the intestinal wall and the possible associated complications - information very valuable in planning and management of IBD patients.
Carilion Clinic is proud to offer expertise and experience in these advanced and minimally invasive diagnostic techniques.
THE ROLE OF PATHOLOGY
Our pathologists can help diagnose IBD patients, as well as, help monitor the disease's progression.
The pathologist works very closely with the gastroenterologist, radiologist, surgeon, and other specialists of the IBD team.
The role of the pathologist in the care of patients with IBD involves initial tissue diagnosis, monitoring of disease progression, and assessment of tissue response to one or more of the various treatment methods. The pathologist provides microscopic examination of the tissue biopsy taken during the endoscopic procedure performed by the gastroenterologist. Microscopic tissue examination is also utilized to determine long-term consequences of IBD, including pre-cancer, known as dysplasia, and cancer that affects the colon.
The pathologist also plays a key role in the assessment and management of the disease by providing a series of follow-up tissue examinations. Follow-up tissue biopsies, along with the patient's symptoms and endoscopy findings, allow our team of specialists to monitor the disease more closely and adjust the patient's treatments accordingly. Throughout the stages of assessment and treatments, the pathologist performs a series of tissue studies to clarify the history of the disease and consult with the team of specialists to identify the best treatment based on the results of the tissue studies.
A big challenge with any chronic disease that begins in childhood can be the adjustment from pediatric to adult care. The partnership with our Pediatric Gastroenterology colleagues as part of the IBD team enables us to maximize communication, and in turn, facilitate this smooth transition.
Learn more about the comprehensive services provided by our pediatric gastroenterology team.