Colorectal diseases are very common. Some can cause recognizable symptoms such as abdominal pain or rectal bleeding. Others may progress silently, detectable only through screenings. In both cases, experienced colorectal specialists can help identify symptoms and their causes, and diagnose cancers and other “invisible” diseases early on when they are most treatable.

NewYork-Presbyterian's gastroenterologists and colorectal surgeons are leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of colorectal diseases — from typically benign conditions such as diverticulitis and polyps to colorectal cancers of all stages. Our specialists work with patients to develop a personalized care plan specific to their disease, needs, and preferences. 

A comprehensive healthcare team

The care of colorectal diseases requires a team approach. We put together the team of healthcare professionals you need, drawing upon the skills of our distinguished cadre of gastroenterologists, colorectal surgeons, medical and radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, and nurses. Registered dietitians form an integral part of your care and work with you to ensure you are following the best diet for you. Genetic counselors are available to meet with patients and families with hereditary syndromes or medical histories that place them at increased risk for certain cancers and other digestive diseases. In short, all of the medical professionals you may need are here at NewYork-Presbyterian.

Comprehensive care for all colorectal disorders

From screening and diagnosis through treatment and beyond, we provide care for people with every type of colorectal disorder, including:

Making the diagnosis

The symptoms of colorectal diseases can be quite general. We offer a thorough evaluation to diagnosis colorectal disorders — the first and most important step in making sure you get the most effective treatment. Through a one-on-one exchange, your doctor will ask you about your personal and family medical history, your symptoms, and other questions that can help lead to an accurate diagnosis. From there, you may undergo diagnostic testing. We offer every type of test, such as stool blood testing, barium enema (examination of your lower digestive tract using x-ray and a contrast agent), and sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy (inspection of the inside of the colon with a flexible scope). At NewYork-Presbyterian, we use a variety of colonoscopy techniques in addition to traditional colonoscopy. Your doctor will discuss your diagnostic testing options with you.

  • Virtual colonoscopy. This test looks inside the colon using computed tomography (CT) scanning. It is may be an option for people who cannot tolerate the sedation using during traditional colonoscopy. While the doctor can see polyps and tumors, it is not possible to remove them using virtual colonoscopy, however.
  • Sedationless colonoscopy. Our doctors are assessing a computer-assisted device that enables them to delicately control the movement of the colonoscope, which may reduce the discomfort of traditional colonoscopy and the need for sedation. Advocates for this technique hope it will encourage more people to be screened for colon cancer, which is recommended starting at age 50.

Minimally invasive colorectal surgery

NewYork-Presbyterian has superior colorectal surgeons who have refined and developed the latest colorectal procedures in use today. They take a minimally invasive approach whenever possible, operating through smaller incisions that result in less postoperative pain and a quicker recovery than conventional open abdominal surgery.

If you need a permanent or temporary ostomy (a bag worn outside the abdomen to collect waste), we have compassionate and experienced ostomy nurses to help you. Our surgeons try to avoid the need for an ostomy bag whenever possible, specializing in advanced reconstructive techniques to create a replacement "J-pouch" in people who need to have the colon and rectum removed.

Clinical trials of new treatments

Our researchers are directing clinical trials evaluating novel treatment approaches for colorectal cancer and other diseases. Your treatment team will let you know if you can receive an innovative investigational therapy by participating in a clinical trial.

Contact us

NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center

Columbia Colorectal Surgery Division

NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center

Weill Cornell Medicine Colorectal Surgery Division

Our doctors are currently seeing patients through in-person and video visits.

When you call to schedule an appointment with our doctors, please let the team know if you want an in-person or video visit. If you request a video visit, our team will walk you through the simple process of arranging one. Call your preferred campus today to schedule an in-person or video visit* appointment.

* This service is open to new and existing patients.