Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic inflammation of the lining of one's intestines. Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are the two main types of IBD, with Crohn's generally affecting the small intestine, and ulcerative colitis causing inflammation in the large intestine, or colon. While many patients are diagnosed with IBD during adulthood, some are diagnosed during childhood and adolescence.
Living with an IBD diagnosis as a child or teen can be especially hard, with educational and social stressors to deal with alongside the array of symptoms caused by IBD, including bleeding, frequent stools, cramping, fatigue, and even arthritis. As part of the Center for Advanced Digestive Care (CADC), our pediatric gastroenterologists specializing in inflammatory bowel disease at NewYork-Presbyterian Komansky Children's Hospital work with a multidisciplinary team of experts who help young patients with IBD keep their disease in check, so they can continue to live full lives in childhood, adolescence, and beyond.
With the rise of biologics as a viable treatment for inflammatory bowel disease, the CADC and the Komansky Children's Hospital offer infusions on-site at our facility, as well as opportunities to complete infusions at home. Patients see their doctor at every infusion visit, allowing patients and their families to continue working collaboratively with their providers on bringing their IBD into remission. At-home infusions can be completed after multiple on-site infusions are completed without issue, allowing patients to receive their biologic medicines on their own time.
Pediatric care at the CADC includes additional complimentary services to help patients and families fully manage their care. Patients with IBD may receive nutritional consultation from a registered dietitian, individual or family counseling with a social worker, or help from our patient navigator to file accommodation plans at school.
The pedatric IBD program at Komansky Children's Hospital also offers a bimonthly support group for young patients living with IBD. The group is designed to help patients and families better understand their condition, family dynamics, adapting in school, and more. Parents or caregivers are also welcome to attend this group. Learn more on our events and support groups page.
IBD Transition Program
The Pediatric IBD Transition Program at the Komansky Children's Hospital is a collaborative initiative, designed to prepare pediatric patients with Crohnâ€™s disease or ulcerative colitis for the move from pediatric into adult medicine. The transition program brings together IBD patients, their family members and caregivers, and our healthcare team in order to prepare teens and young adults to manage their medical care and independently navigate the healthcare system.
The Transition Program first at 14 years of age and continues until the patient is prepared to see an adult gastroenterologist. During a patient's normal appointments, various members of the Transition team (made up of the pediatric gastroenterologist, patient navigator, nurse, and social worker) meet with the patient to help the patient gain an understanding of his/her medical condition, the purpose of their treatment, how to navigate the healthcare system, and special accommodations they may be able to receive at work, school, or elsewhere. Strategies are tailored to what the patient already knows and what they need to still learn. The IBD Transition Program at the CADC understands that handoff of decision-making from parents to young patients can be complex. Caregivers have a voice in patient learning throughout the Transition Program process, working as a member of each patient's team.