Why should I choose the Crohn’s and Colitis Center?
We are the only center for Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis in New England that offers this large an array of individualized services all under one roof. Our doctors and practitioners are known worldwide for their innovation, expertise and quality care. We understand Crohn’s and Colitis. We understand the toll it takes on you and your family and friends every day. We understand it isn’t easy. We understand that medications and surgeries are not always desirable and that patients need more options than just these. We understand that sometimes it may seem insurmountable. BUT, we also understand that it can get better and it should get better. We understand that we can’t just treat the disease. We have to treat the whole person and develop the plan that is right for you as an individual because everyone is unique. If you are not getting better then please come see us.
When can I get an appointment?
If you are being seen here for the first time, typically it will take about 48 hours from the receipt of your medical records to your appointment. If you are an existing patient, and you need to be seen urgently, we can usually get you in within 24hrs.
Will I get better?
For some it will be a shorter journey than others. This is a lifelong disease so we cannot offer a cure yet but we can help you get yourself better and offer the best tools at our disposal to help you stay better.
Since each patient is unique, our approach will be different for each person as well. Some people will require a few medications or lifestyle changes and others may require surgery and the inclusion of multiple other modalities, like mental health services and alternative therapies to get them feeling better. The main goal however is always an improved quality of life.
Will you be just prescribing me medications?
Although medications are a very important part of getting you better. It is only part. We offer many other modalities to help you feel better and improve your overall quality of life. Medications are part of that strategy but you will also be followed closely while on any medication. Our team of physicians, Nurse Practitioner, Physician Assistant, Health Coach and other services will follow you’re progress throughout your journey to ensure that you are receiving the care you deserve.
Will I be encouraged to go directly into a surgery?
We work to maximize all the medical and alternative therapies we have at our disposal including the latest clinical trials before recommending surgery when at all possible. With that said, there are times when surgery is very appropriate and to delay surgery may put you in great harm. It is at those times; we will strongly recommend surgery and work with our expert colo-rectal surgeons on finding the procedure that is right for you while sparing as much bowel as possible in order for you to function optimally.
What do you have to offer that’s new?
As part of being a world-class teaching hospital, we have the ability to offer some of the latest and most promising clinical trials for medications and therapies available. In addition it is our aim to approach your Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis from a fresh new angle by involving all the resources at our disposal to better understand who you are and how to best individualize your treatment for maximum results.
Will you work with my local physician?
YES. We have excellent relationships with community physicians and are happy to consult as a second or third opinion, to act under the direction of your PCP or local gastroenterologist or fully take you on as our regular patient. It is your choice.
Will I be able to speak with someone when I need to?
During the day there are many of us available to talk with you and address any concerns. We aim to get back to you within four hours for routine concerns and you will be put right through if possible or get an immediate call back for true emergencies. We have a physician on call to speak with for any off-hour emergencies.
Do you support the use of alternative therapies for IBD?
YES, as long as they are safe for you. We are fortunate to be able to work in conjunction with the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine. Together, we are able to make recommendations for alternative therapies and work with any nontraditional therapeutic practitioners you are involved with. We have seen many instances where people find non-traditional therapies that work well for them and we always support those efforts and work to contribute as long as they are safe for our patients.
Will I be awake for my colonoscopy or upper endoscopy?
We use IV conscious sedation which means that you are not as completely sedated as you would be for a major surgery. With IV conscious sedation, patients are comfortable, often sleep through the exam and do not recall the procedure. You will be comfortable and if there are any signs of discomfort, we will usually increase your medication to make you comfortable or we will stop the exam. Occasionally when patients are known to have a difficult time with sedation, we will use Monitored Anesthesia Care (MAC) which is essentially the same level of sedation as surgery. This is administered within the presence of an anesthesia team who will monitor your vital signs and adjust appropriately during your exam.