IBD Diagnosis

If you suffer from ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease, you want safe and effective relief. Our nationally recognized gastrointestinal doctors and colorectal surgeons specialize in IBD, and they understand how your discomfort affects your daily life.

We offer diagnostic tests that require specialized training, practice, and technology, such as deep enteroscopy (single and double balloon enteroscopy), video capsule endoscopy ("pill camera"), and CT and MR enterography—all very advanced, minimally invasive techniques that are not widely available.

With your very first call to us (717-531-3998), our dedicated IBD Coordinator will take your history, obtain your referral information, make sure you meet with the right specialist, as soon as possible.   Our team of surgeons, gastroenterologists, radiologists, nutritionists, and other specialists will work together to provide you with a personalized treatment plan that is best for your unique symptoms.  We make communicating with you, your other physicians, and each other a priority. 

Diagnosing IBD at Penn State Hershey

Inflammatory bowel disease, which includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, may occur at any age, affecting both children and adults. Making a diagnosis of IBD can sometimes be difficult, as there is not always one single test to determine if you have one of these conditions. Our doctors, surgeons, and radiologists have the most advanced and minimally invasive tools at their fingertips, providing you with an accurate understanding of your condition and a personalized plan for treatment.

Diagnostic tests for your IBD may include:

  • Blood and stool tests to check for evidence of infections, anemia, inflammation, or malnutrition
  • Upper Endoscopy: A visual exam of the esophagus (swallowing tube), stomach, and first part of the small intestine using a thin, lighted tube with a camera at the end.
  • Small Bowel Endoscopy: Also known as deep enteroscopy (single or double balloon enteroscopy), is a procedure that can allow advancement of a long endoscope through the entire small intestine for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.
  • Video capsule endoscopy uses an ingestible, pill-sized device that takes pictures as it travels through your digestive tract. The pill camera can provide a valuable road map to an area of suspected Crohn's disease. Our doctors can then use deep enteroscopy to get to this location.
  • Colonoscopy: A full exam of the colon using a colonoscope
  • Chromoendoscopy: An imaging test that uses a dye during an endoscopy to enhance the detection of precancerous cells in colitis patients
  • CT and MR enterography: Magnetic resonance (MR) enterography is a minimally invasive imaging test that uses a magnetic field (not radiation) to obtain detailed pictures of your small bowel to pinpoint areas of inflammation (swelling and irritation), bleeding, and other small bowel conditions. Computed tomography (CT) enterography is a quick, accurate, and painless noninvasive procedure. This procedure combines x-rays with a contrast material to help our radiologists see the inside of your intestine with great accuracy.

Make an Appointment

To make an appointment, or to refer a patient to our care, contact our dedicated IBD Coordinator at 717-531-3998 or the Penn State Hershey Careline at 1-800-243-1455.