IBD patients’ follow-ups are done at gastroenterology, internal medicine or pediatric outpatient clinics in hospitals, health care centers or other medical centers. IBD is diagnosed using biopsies taken from the intestinal wall in a colonoscopy. Colonoscopies are also done to follow up the response to treatment and later to find anaplasias that can develop into cancer.
In addition to colonoscopy (examination of the large intestine), a gastroscopy (examination of the upper digestive tract) or enteroscopy (examination of the small intestine) may often be necessary.
A capsule camera that is swallowed can be used to examine the entire small intestine, but it cannot take biopsies and cannot be done if the patient has strictures. Computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used to examine Crohn’s disease in the small intestine.
The course of the illness and response to treatment is also followed up with laboratory tests from whole blood, blood serum, urine or stool samples.