In ulcerative colitis, the most useful diagnostic tool is the sigmoidoscope, a short instrument that allows visualization of the inside of the lower bowel. If necessary, during this procedure a physician can biopsy any suspected areas for further investigation. Viewing the lining of the colon with this instrument at regular intervals throughout the healing process allows a physician to monitor the disease. If needed, a longer, flexible instrument called a colonoscope can help the physician see farther up into the colon, sometimes as far as the terminal ileum (where the small and large intestine meet), which is a likely location for the formation of Crohn’s disease. In some cases, a gastroscope, entering the body via the mouth, is useful to confirm Crohn’s disease in the upper part of the GI tract.
We recognize that, like any chronic illness, inflammatory bowel disease can affect children and adolescents every day of their lives as well as impacting their family. We treat the whole family, using an approach that addresses psychological and social concerns in tandem with the most advanced medical treatment. One-on-one teaching to newly diagnosed patients and their families is provided by a nurse. Psychology services including assessment of psychosocial concerns, pain management (including biofeedback), and psychotherapy addressing coping with the disease and other issues is also available.