If you have been experiencing symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a series of diagnostic examinations should be performed to confirm the nature of your condition. These exams provide key information needed to manage IBD, including the type, severity, and location of inflammation along the gastrointestinal tract.
No single test exists to diagnose IBD. Instead, the results from physical examination, laboratory and microbiological testing, endoscopic exams, and imaging studies will be used to confirm inflammatory bowel disease.
The IBD Center of Excellence offers a team of renowned gastroenterologists and colorectal surgeons specializing in the comprehensive diagnosis and management of inflammatory bowel disease. To learn more about the process for diagnosing IBD or to schedule a consultation with one of our IBD specialists, contact us at (888) 421-4172.
Physical Examination and Laboratory Tests
A physical examination will involve inspection of the abdomen, skin, mucous membranes, and other areas of the body for signs of inflammation. Discussion of your specific symptoms will help our expert gastroenterologists and colorectal surgeons to assess the state of your gastrointestinal system.
The next step in the diagnostic process will be to take blood samples for laboratory testing. Various chemical tests will be performed on the blood samples to confirm the general signs of inflammation, inadequate nutrient uptake, or intestinal bleeding associated with IBD. Relatively newer blood testing called “IBD serologies” can help in confirming the diagnosis. If these results confirm the likelihood of IBD, additional endoscopic and radiological testing will be necessary to determine the type and extent of your inflammatory bowel disease.
Endoscopy is a diagnostic technique used to visualize the inside of the gastrointestinal tract and to obtain small tissue samples for examination. Traditional endoscopic procedures are performed with a flexible, fiber-optic cable (endoscope) that transmits light images from inside the digestive system to a television monitor. The IBD Center of Excellence offers several advanced endoscopic procedures that are specific to the expected site of inflammation.
- Upper Endoscopy – Endoscope is inserted through the mouth to examine the esophagus, stomach, and upper portion of small intestine
- Colonoscopy – Endoscope is inserted through the anus to examine the rectum, colon (large intestine), and the end of the small intestine
- Sigmoidoscopy – Shorter endoscope inserted through the anus, used when IBD is expected to be limited to the rectum and lower colon
- Video Capsule Endoscopy – The most advanced endoscopic technique that provides a view of the entire gastrointestinal tract. This procedure utilizes a pill-sized capsule with a camera attached, that is then swallowed and transmits images to a recorder device as it travels through the digestive system
During an endoscopy, you will be given a sedative to make you comfortable before the insertion of the endoscopic device. Each device, with the exception of the video capsule endoscopy, has a special channel through which biopsy forceps can be used to obtain a tissue sample. This tissue will be used to determine which form of IBD (Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis) is present.
Colonoscopy for IBD Diagnosis
Watch the process of having a colonoscopy at our outpatient surgery center, from start to finish:
Medical Director Dr. Davidson also had his colonoscopy done at the IBD Center of Excellence! Watch his testimonial:
You can learn more about our colonoscopy department by visiting the Colonoscopy Center of Excellence website.
Radiological exams are imaging techniques that can be used to check for signs of inflammation within the gastrointestinal tract. Computed tomography (CT) scans are commonly used to measure shape and diameter of the intestinal tract and to identify complications of IBD such as abscesses, fistulas, or intestinal stenosis.
If you have been diagnosed with IBD, it is important to receive routine monitoring. IBD is a chronic disease that may produce intermittent flare-ups or progress to another region of the gastrointestinal tract. Our doctors recommend that patients with IBD receive check-ups at least twice a year in order to re-assess the extent of the disease and update a treatment plan accordingly.
Contact an IBD Specialist in Beverly Hills
The IBD Center of Excellence in Beverly Hills offers a team of world-renowned gastroenterologists and colorectal surgeons who have trained at some of the top medical schools and residencies in the country. Our extensive experience in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, coupled with a highly individualized approach, helps us to deliver compassionate and effective care to each patient. For more information on the diagnosis of IBD, or to schedule a consultation with an IBD specialist, please call (888) 421-4172 or fill out our contact form.
Next, learn about the Surgical Treatment of IBD.