Crohn's disease care at Mayo Clinic
Your Mayo Clinic care team
At Mayo Clinic, a wide array of specialists with expertise in digestive diseases (gastroenterology), surgery, pathology, radiology and nutrition care work together to provide the care you need for Crohn's disease. Mayo's collaborative approach means a wide array of specialists work with you and your personal physician so that you'll get exactly the care you need.
Absorbing nutrients and maintaining a healthy weight can be a problem for people with Crohn's disease, especially after bowel surgery. At Mayo Clinic, dietitians with expertise in inflammatory bowel disease are part of your treatment team. If your digestive problems are severe, Mayo specialists may recommend special diets or home parenteral nutrition.
Crohn's disease often takes an even greater physical and emotional toll on young people, slowing their growth and delaying sexual maturation. At Mayo Clinic, young patients and their families work closely with a psychologist who can help them navigate the day-to-day difficulties of living with Crohn's disease.
The longer a person has Crohn's disease, the more likely that complications will occur. Through the years, Mayo Clinic specialists can provide careful, long-term monitoring and also help with decisions about school and other activities.
Mayo Clinic also uses advanced diagnostic tests, such as MR enterography, that don't expose children to ionizing X-ray radiation, which can be a concern when repeated imaging tests are needed.
Specialized pregnancy care
Many women with Crohn's disease worry about their ability to conceive or give birth to a healthy baby, but most can have a successful pregnancy and delivery. However, it's very important that both men and women with Crohn's disease who wish to have a child talk to their doctors. The disease and its treatments may affect the pregnancy and increase the risk of early labor or birth defects.
It's also important to work with a high-risk obstetrician and a gastroenterologist specializing in Crohn's disease. Mayo Clinic doctors have special expertise in guiding women with Crohn's disease through pregnancy and delivery.
Expertise and rankings
Each year, Mayo Clinic doctors diagnose and treat more than 5,000 adults and children with Crohn's disease. Mayo specializes in helping people with severe symptoms that haven't responded well to treatment in the past.
Advanced diagnosis methods
Mayo Clinic researchers helped develop noninvasive imaging techniques that make it possible for doctors to thoroughly inspect the small bowel, such as MR and CT enterography. These tests are more sensitive than conventional imaging for finding inflammation, pockets of bacterial infection (abscesses) and abnormal tunnels that develop between loops of intestine or between the intestine and other organs (fistulas).
Mayo Clinic doctors also use balloon-assisted enteroscopy to look for sources of bleeding that can't be found by other methods. During this procedure, a scope and an overtube with one or two attached balloons are inserted through your mouth or anus into your digestive tract. This method allows for deeper insertion and visualization of your small intestine.
Doctors may also use endoscopic ultrasound, which involves examining the intestinal wall with an ultrasound probe. This method is helpful for finding fistulas and looking for complications such as abscesses in the perianal area.
Mayo Clinic doctors conduct research in new diagnostic tests and treatments for Crohn's disease and conduct clinical trials. Mayo's Center for Cell Signaling in Gastroenterology (C-SIG) focuses its research on mechanisms of cellular and molecular processes in a variety of digestive diseases, including Crohn's disease.
Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., ranks No. 1 for digestive disorders in the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals rankings. Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., are ranked among the Best Hospitals for digestive disorders by U.S. News & World Report. Mayo Clinic also ranks among the Best Children's Hospitals for digestive disorders.
Locations, travel and lodging
Mayo Clinic has major campuses in Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona; Jacksonville, Florida; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Mayo Clinic Health System has dozens of locations in several states.
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Costs and insurance
Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people.
In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals, or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.
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Please contact your insurance company to verify medical coverage and to obtain any needed authorization prior to your visit. Often, your insurer's customer service number is printed on the back of your insurance card.