Diagnosis at Mayo Clinic

By Mayo Clinic Staff

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Symptoms of abdominal pain and diarrhea can have many causes. Identifying the source of your problem can be difficult, but it is essential to getting the right treatment for your disease.

Mayo Clinic doctors take the time to listen to you and understand your symptoms.

Mayo doctors are skilled at identifying other digestive conditions that can be causing your problem, or which may coexist with ulcerative colitis and complicate your disease. These include celiac disease, Clostridium difficile infection and primary sclerosing cholangitis.

Mayo specialists are especially skilled at colonoscopy, the main test used to examine your colon and rectum. Tens of thousands of colonoscopies are performed at Mayo each year.

Mayo has pathologists who specialize in interpreting tissue samples removed from the bowel in colonoscopy exams.

You have access to every kind of test available to pinpoint the extent and severity of bowel inflammation, including some advanced techniques not widely available, such as:

  • CT and MR enterography — more sensitive ways of finding inflammation in the bowel. MR enterography has the advantage of being radiation-free.
  • Chromoendoscopy — a leading-edge technique to screen for colorectal cancer, the most serious risk associated with ulcerative colitis. Chromoendoscopy uses a spray dye to highlight abnormal tissue changes that might not be seen otherwise. Your Mayo doctor will discuss with you whether you need a cancer surveillance program.

Testing can ordinarily be done in two to four days, and the results are available almost immediately. At the end of your visit, your doctor has a complete picture of your situation on which to base treatment recommendations.

Oct. 10, 2012

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