More than most chronic illnesses, inflammatory bowel diseases require a multidisciplinary approach to hands-on patient care. At the UCLA Center for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases our team of experts includes gastroenterologists, colorectal surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, and hepatologists who meet regularly to discuss complex cases and work together to develop individualized treatment plans for each patient. Others on the healthcare team, including nurses, registered dietitians and administrative staff, all of whom have special training and expertise in IBDs, counsel and assist patients with lifestyle and wellness issues, including diet, and ensure that they are receiving appropriate follow-up testing and care.
IBD can cause major lifestyle disruptions. The symptoms tend to be highly unpredictable, and when not appropriately addressed they can progress, in some cases leading to the need for surgery. The key to avoiding this scenario is finding the right medications early and monitoring for any signs of flare-ups or other unwanted symptoms of disease progression. Our team takes a hands-on approach to the care of all of our patients, following up regularly to ensure that their health is optimized.
To make it easier for our patients to follow their treatment regimens, the UCLA IBD center has established a dozen infusion therapy centers in UCLA oncology offices across Southern California. UCLA Health physicians are positioned throughout Los Angeles, and work closely with UCLA IBD center physicians in Westwood to make it as convenient as possible for our patients to receive quality care. With these infusion centers, UCLA IBD center patients no longer have to go back and forth to Westwood for all of their appointments. Medication appointments that in the past required a visit to a tertiary care center such as Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood can now be handled at these community clinics, with patients receiving the same high-quality care for which UCLA is renowned throughout the world.
Our patients also benefit from the cutting-edge research that is leading to a better understanding of the causes of IBD and what can be done to control or even prevent the disease. UCLA IBD center research runs the gamut from basic laboratory studies to clinical trials of exciting new treatments. In all cases, the focus is on patient-oriented research — using the knowledge we gain from treating our patients to conduct studies in the lab that lead to discoveries that are then translated back to the clinic. With UCLA’s unsurpassed breadth of expertise in every category important to IBD research, our scientists and physicians are working closely together toward the same goal: improving the health and quality of life of all of our patients. More about our research