Overview of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program

Our Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Digestive Disease Institute specializes in the diagnosis and management of inflammatory bowel disorders.

Patients with IBD receive care from a multidisciplinary team of specialists, who are experts in a wide range of therapies. Management options range from nutritional support and medications, to endoscopic or surgical treatment. 

Our multidisciplinary team of IBD trained providers, which includes advanced nutrition experts and a dedicated IBD nurse coordinator, collaborate to create tailored treatment plans for each patient based on their disease type and their own individual case. Patients also benefit from our unique education and support program. 

We work closely with the team at Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, so patients further benefit from collaborative clinical and research projects, which aim to improve the lives of IBD patients. 

What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD?

The term IBD refers to a group of conditions that involve chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. The two most common types of IBD are: 

  • Crohn’s disease: inflammation that can affect any part of the digestive tract 
  • Ulcerative colitis: inflammation that only affects the colon. 

 Proper diagnosis and assessment of IBD is critical to providing the right treatment, successfully managing the condition, and helping patients improve their quality of life.

​Diagnosis & Treatment of IBD

Diagnosis of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

An accurate diagnosis is essential to being able to provide the best care for IBD patients. IBD is a complex condition and sometimes a diagnosis can take time. Some conditions may symptomatically mimic IBD, and doctors need to rule out other possible causes of symptoms. Our skilled team of experts specialize in the diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease based on individual symptoms, clinical assessment and evaluation of test results.

Our IBD Program offers a variety of specialized diagnostic tests to help us properly assess the condition, including:

  • Gastroscopy: A procedure where a thin, flexible tube with a camera on the end is inserted into the mouth and through the esophagus to assess the health of the esophagus, stomach, and the duodenum.
  • Colonoscopy: A procedure that uses a thin, flexible tube with a camera to look inside the colon and the end of the small bowel.  
  • Flexible sigmoidoscopy: A thin, flexible tube with a camera is used to look inside the rectum and the lower portion of the colon.
  • Balloon-assisted enteroscopy: This is a technique that uses a balloon to allow a camera to enter the small bowel and look at areas that cannot be assessed on regular endoscopy or colonoscopy.

During these procedures, tissue samples can be obtained and analyzed in the lab for accurate diagnosis. 

​Capsule endoscopyA test that involves swallowing a pill-shaped wireless camera. The camera takes pictures of the inside of the entire digestive tract and can help see areas of the bowel that are not visibly accessible through a regular endoscopy.

Magnetic Resonance Enterography (MRE)A non-invasive imaging test that takes pictures of the digestive tract, allowing physicians to identify abnormalities in the bowel.

CT scan: An imaging test that produces images of the organs and can detect complications of IBD, such as intestinal blockages. 

Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease 

Although every patient is different, some of the most common symptoms of IBD include abdominal pain, diarrhea, blood in the stool, fatigue or weight loss. 

Some of the symptoms of IBD can also occur with other conditions, highlighting the importance of a proper diagnosis. 

Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

There are many approaches to treating and managing IBD. These include:

  • Medications (pills, injections, infusions or topical treatments)​
  • Endoscopic procedures
  • Surgical procedures, including minimally invasive techniques. Our colorectal surgery team offers specialized surgical procedures for IBD such as pouch reconstructions for certain eligible patients. 
  • Nutritional evaluation, education and support
  • Close monitoring and management of potential condition- or medication-related complications 
  • Complementary or alternative treatment ​

Program Caregivers​

Treatment of IBD involves several teams of caregivers working together to provide comprehensive and holistic care for our patients.

Members of the team include:

  • Physicians (gastroenterologists, surgeons, radiologists, pathologists and other specialists)
  • Clinic nurses and a dedicated IBD nurse coordinator
  • Advanced nutrition experts 
  • Dieticians
  • Pharmacists

VIEW ALL DOCTORS WHO CAN HELP WITH Inflammatory Bowel Disease​

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