Crohn's Disease

Crohn’s disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation of the small and large intestines. The specialists at The Jill Roberts Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and the IBD Center at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center provide comprehensive care for people with Crohn’s disease to relieve symptoms and enhance their quality of life.

Medications for Crohn’s Disease

A variety of medications are available to manage the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and to help you keep your disease in remission. Your doctor will choose the medication(s) best suited for your care.

  • Anti-inflammatory agents, such as aminosalicylates (like 5-ASA), are aspirin-like anti-inflammatory agents often used as the first drug therapy for people with early-stage, mild Crohn’s disease.
  • Antibiotics and probiotics may help some patients with Crohn's disease.
  • Steroids such as prednisone are typically used to treat people with moderate to severe disease and reduce symptoms that have continued despite other treatments. However, because steroids do not maintain remission and have side effects, we discuss strategies with you to limit or avoid their use.
  • Immunemodulators such as 6-mercaptopurine and azathioprine help to reduce inflammation and maintain remission by lowering the immune response, which is heightened in people with Crohn’s disease.
  • Biologic therapies stop certain proteins from causing inflammation and have proven to be effective treatments for people with Crohn’s disease. You may receive infliximab (Remicade), vendolizumab (Entyvio), certolizumab (Cimzia), adalimumab (Humira), ustekinumab (Stelara), or natalizumab (Tysabri) in one of our modern and comfortable infusion suites, with experienced nurses monitoring your comfort during your treatment.

Experts in Crohn’s Disease Surgery

More than half of people with Crohn's disease will eventually need an operation during their lifetime. When surgery is needed, our surgeons aim to preserve as much of the bowel and bowel function as possible. Surgery for Crohn's disease may include:

  • Resection. Removal of diseased tissue, which may be done if you have isolated disease that affects only a small area of your intestine.
  • Strictureplasty. Our surgeons treat short areas of disease and narrowing caused by scar tissue using a bowel-sparing procedure called strictureplasty, opening the narrowing in a way that restores the flow of contents through the intestine and allows nutrients to be absorbed. A side-to-side “isoperistaltic strictureplasty” may be needed to open multiple narrowings in order to preserve bowel. A NewYork-Presbyterian surgeon developed this innovative surgical technique to alleviate Crohn’s disease symptoms while preserving as much intestine as possible.
  • Treatment after surgery. It’s not unusual to need additional surgery to treat new areas of inflammation in the bowel. Our gastroenterologists use early intervention, including postoperative therapies, to reduce your risk of recurrence. You’ll also receive support and education from wound care nurses specially trained in the care of people with Crohn’s disease.

Clinical Trials for Crohn’s Disease

NewYork-Presbyterian investigators are conducting clinical trials to assess innovative therapies for Crohn’s disease. You may have the opportunity to participate in a clinical study evaluating a promising new treatment. If you are interested in learning more about current trials at NewYork-Presbyterian and other facilities across the nation, visit our Clinical Trials section.

Contact

Digestive and Liver Diseases
NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia

212-305-1909

Center for Advanced Digestive Care
NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell

877-902-2232