Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease, colitis), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), appendicitisCall for an appointment
Duke gastrointestinal experts diagnose and treat digestive disorders that occur in the small and large intestine. We work closely with you to alleviate the discomforting symptoms associated with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and colitis), and irritable bowel syndrome. Our skilled surgeons offer emergency treatment of appendicitis, ruptured appendix, and intestinal obstructions. Our advanced training and expertise help prevent the potential for future complications that may arise from these and other intestinal disorders.
Comprehensive care for your small and large intestines
Your small intestine plays a major role in digesting the food you eat. Your large intestine (also called your colon) removes water from the undigested food and prepares it to be eliminated. Comprehensive diagnosis and appropriate treatment are needed to help you understand the cause of, and obtain relief from symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, gas, and abdominal cramping, which may accompany intestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease.
Our additional training and expertise helps you manage the effects of newer therapies, which influence your body's immune system response. We work closely with you to change your diet and lifestyle, which is often the most effective treatment for disorders like celiac disease. If your condition is severe enough that you may be considered for a small bowel transplant, you may be referred to our transplant experts who run the only small bowel transplant center in the Carolinas, and one of only 20 active programs in the country.
Intestinal disorders at Duke: Why choose us
- Research leaders. As one of nine U.S. centers designated an Autoimmune Center of Excellence (ACE) by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), we are involved in the latest research aimed at understanding and finding effective treatments for inflammatory bowel disease.
- Regional referral center. As a referral center for second and even third medical opinions, our expertise in diagnosing and treating the full range of intestinal disorders is well known. If you are referred to us, we partner with your physician to ensure you receive the best care possible.
- Gastrointestinal screening and imaging experts. Our gastroenterologists are specialists in the digestive system, and undergo advanced training in imaging techniques that detect abnormalities throughout the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. We screen a high volume of patients for intestinal abnormalities, and have the expertise to identify concerns, including colon cancer, at the earliest possible stage.
- Advanced small intestine diagnostic techniques. Abnormalities in the small intestine abnormalities can be difficult to diagnose and manage because the area is difficult to access. Our specialists use advanced techniques to guide endoscopes deeply into the small intestine beyond the reach of standard endoscopic procedures such as colonoscopy and upper endoscopy. This allows them to better visualize and detect abnormalities that include bleeding, inflammation and tumors.
- Surgical expertise. If you require surgery to relieve severe symptoms of Crohn's disease or cure ulcerative colitis, our specialized colorectal surgeons use minimally invasive techniques and robotic surgery when possible to restore your health. We do everything we can to avoid the need for a colostomy or ileostomy, which collect waste outside the body when the colon is damaged.
- Treatment of challenging diseases. We regularly treat rare forms of intestinal disease that can be serious, contagious and recurring.
- Latest medical advances. We work closely with you and your physician to monitor your use of newly approved medications, called biologics, that impact your body's immune response.
- Comfort and convenience. We offer a comfortable setting for tests and consultation. Intestinal disorders can produce uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing symptoms, including diarrhea, abdominal cramping, bloating and gas. We aim to make you as comfortable as possible during diagnostic testing, and schedule as many as possible during single office visits to make the process as convenient as possible.
SMALL AND LARGE INTESTINE DISORDERS
A gluten-free diet is the only treatment to avoid the symptoms associated with celiac disease. If you experience irritable bowel syndrome, increasing fiber intake may help.
Several drugs have proven effective in relieving uncomfortable symptoms, reducing the body’s immune response, and controlling inflammation. They range from over the counter remedies to advanced, complex therapies. The severity of your condition dictates which medication you are prescribed. The more complex therapies require medical expertise and regular monitoring to manage side effects:
- Aminosalicylates. Decrease symptoms including fever, stomach pain, diarrhea and rectal bleeding
- Steroids. Reduce inflammation
- Antibiotics. Kill intestinal bacteria
- Immunomodulators. Suppress the immune system
- Biologics. Decrease inflammation by blocking the body’s ability to attack healthy tissue
Cures severe colitis by removing the large intestine. Patients may benefit from the surgical creation of an internal anal pouch that eventually allows relatively normal bowel function without a colostomy. While Crohn's disease cannot be cured by surgery, removing part of the intestine may relieve severe inflammation and treat partial blockages. Appendicitis surgery is generally an emergency procedure to prevent the inflamed organ from rupturing.
SMALL AND LARGE INTESTINE DISORDERS
Determines the presence of antibodies, bacteria, parasites and other indicators used to diagnose specific intestinal disorders.
A long flexible lighted tube with a camera at the tip, called a colonoscope, is inserted in the rectum to evaluate the large intestine (colon).
A swallowed capsule passes through your small intestines and captures images that are stored in a small computer worn on your belt.
The lower part of the colon is coated with barium liquid, then drained and filled with air. The images that are created show whether inflammation is present on the intestinal wall.
Capture images of the tissue and lining inside the intestines.