Treatment Programs

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Crohn’s and Colitis Center

The Massachusetts General Hospital Digestive Healthcare Center’s Crohn’s and Colitis Center is one of the few comprehensive, multidisciplinary programs in New England dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Care

Patients with Crohn’s disease and colitis face unique challenges. The Crohn’s and Colitis Center brings together a personal care team of digestive health specialists to provide expert diagnosis, leading-edge medical and surgical interventions and personalized, ongoing care to help patients manage their condition.

The patient’s care team includes:

  • Gastroenterologists
  • Surgeons
  • GI radiologists
  • GI pathologists
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Psychiatrists
  • Nutritionists
  • Enterostomal specialists

Team members conduct a weekly interdisciplinary conference to discuss patients’ needs, treatment and progress. They also work closely with both the patient and the referring physician to coordinate a care plan designed to offer the best outcomes.

Specialized Treatment Begins With Advanced Diagnostics

We offer inpatients a quick turnaround and expert analysis of their test findings, 24 hours a day, for a range of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Our endoscopists are available around the clock to confer with referring physicians.

We also offer a full range of other advanced diagnostic techniques, including:

  • Capsule endoscopy, which uses a pill to take pictures of the small intestine
  • Diagnostic imaging, including X-rays and scans used for diagnosis
  • MRI enterography, a diagnostic alternative to imaging studies using radiation
  • CT enterography, which combines a CT scan with oral contrast for more advanced imaging
  • Virtual colonoscopy

Our diagnostic radiology team is composed of dedicated imaging specialists whose practice focuses specifically on GI scans. They are nationally recognized for expertise in all forms of sophisticated imaging, including:

  • CT - CAT scans
  • PET scans
  • MRI scans
  • GI interventional radiology

Innovating the Standard of Care

The Crohn’s and Colitis Center offers the full range of conventional and innovative medical therapies. Our physicians are experienced in fine-tuning medical therapies and helping patients obtain relief from persistent, difficult-to-manage symptoms. They are also known around the world for their experience treating inflammatory bowel disease.

We were one of the first centers in the world to offer Remicade, a medicine that is now a standard of care, to treat Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. We continue to be pioneers in the field and are actively involved in clinical trials and research of promising new medications and interventions to treat inflammatory bowel diseases.

Leading Surgical Interventions

The Crohn’s and Colitis Center offers the latest leading-edge surgical procedures, always striving to achieve the best possible outcomes for each patient. These include:

  • Laparoscopic surgery
  • Bowel-sparing surgery, which leaves more of the bowel intact
  • Sphincter-sparing surgery, which avoids the need for a stoma

Our surgeons perform some of the highest volumes of colorectal surgery and laproscopic colorectal surgery in New England. All of the members of our world-renowned surgery staff belong to the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgery and have held leadership positions in preeminent surgical organizations.

Our colorectal surgeons have particular expertise related to the:

  • Intestinal tract
  • Colon
  • Rectum
  • Anal canal
  • Perianal area

Learn more about colorectal surgery in the Department of Surgery

Patient Education and Support

Patient education and support are important components of our mission. We are committed to helping patients understand their disease, assess their treatment options, participate in their treatment decisions and feel in control of their disease.

Enterostomal therapy nurses assist in the care and instruction of patients with ileostomies and colostomies. Our nurses are certified in wound ostomy and continence.

Our patients may attend the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America support group, which holds regular meetings at our center.

One Call Coordinates Care

We provide patients and referring physicians with an experienced access coordinator, a clinician who is available to assess patients’ needs, coordinate appointments and begin the appropriate testing regimen. Contact the Crohn's and Colitis Center’s access coordinator

Care for All Ages

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are lifelong diseases, and we treat patients of all ages. Our MassGeneral Hospital for Children pediatric specialists help parents address the special concerns of growth and physical and social development in their children and assist their adolescent patients in making a smooth transition to adult medical care at the appropriate time.

State-of-the-Art Treatment OptionsWe offer a full range of conventional, innovative and investigational medical therapies and surgical procedures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Our services include:

  • Medical and surgical office consultations, including second opinions
  • Endosocopy
  • Infusion therapy
  • Psychiatry
  • Support groups and onsite library
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Access to new therapies through clinical trials
  • Enterostomal consultations, evaluations, treatment and ongoing support

Whenever possible, multiple appointments are scheduled for the same visit.

Second Opinions

Many patients are referred to the Crohn's and Colitis Center for a second opinion consultation from one of our world-class physicians. Patients benefit most from obtaining a second opinion because our physicians review each patient's previously assessed condition and discuss the full range of available treatments.
Contact our access coordinator to schedule a consultation

A Dedicated Referral Line for Physicians and Patients 

We provide patients and referring physicians with an experienced access coordinator, a clinician who helps assess patient needs, coordinate appointments and begin the appropriate testing regimen. Contact the Crohn's and Colitis Center’s access coordinator

Calls will be returned within 24 hours.

Access to Clinical Trials

Our physicians are active in clinical trials and research studies related to new therapies for inflammatory bowel diseases, allowing us to bring our patients promising new treatments as quickly as possible.

Our patients can also choose to participate in an ongoing landmark study of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, known as PRISM. Through PRISM, we are investigating the genetic causes of IBD, with a goal of identifying markers that will predict the course of a patient’s disease. This information will benefit patients by leading to better diagnostic tests and new treatments.

Patients interested in participating in clinical trials can browse online for open trials.

Advancing Crohn’s and IBD Treatment Through Ongoing Research

The Crohn’s and Colitis Center’s Dr. Joshua Korzenik was among the first to recognize the role of the innate immune system in the cause of Crohn’s disease. Dr. Ramnik Xavier was the coauthor of a landmark publication that described 30 new genes that may contribute to Crohn’s disease. Dr. Richard Hodin, director of the Laboratory of Gastrointestinal Epithelial Biology, is investigating a promising new therapy for IBD called intestinal alkaline phosphatase.

We are part of The Center for the Study of IBD, a multimillion dollar National Institutes of Health-funded program devoted to finding new treatments for irritable bowel diseases. We are also performing extensive research on the role of bacteria in the digestive track and the genetic factors that cause Crohn’s and colitis.

Annual Symposium Advances Understanding of Inflammatory Bowel DiseaseWe host an internationally recognized annual symposium on inflammatory bowel disease. The symposium draws experts from around the world who share their expertise and explore the latest advances in the causes of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

The Crohn’s and Colitis Center hosts an annual continuing medical education course, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases – State of the Art Care for the Practicing Clinician.

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine because of a sensitivity to gluten, which is found in wheat, rye, barley, and oats. This hereditary disorder interferes with the absorption of nutrients from food.

Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that is a chronic condition that may recur at various times over a lifetime.

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease in which the inner lining of the large intestine (colon or bowel) and rectum become inflamed.

Crohn's and Colitis Support Group

The Crohn's and Colitis Support Group is sponsored by the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America and held at Massachusetts General Hospital. The group is an informal resource to share stories, gather support and learn about coping. Friends and family members are welcome to attend.

Gluten-Free Dietary Guidelines

Massachusetts General Hospital nutritionists offer gluten-free dietary guidelines for patients with celiac disease.

Ostomy Support Group

We welcome patients with a new or existing colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy, and their family and friends, to monthly meetings of the Massachusetts General Hospital Ostomy Support Group.

Vijay Yajnik, MD, explains the role of genetics in developing colitis and Crohn's disease

Vijay Yajnik, MD, gastroenterologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital Digestive Healthcare Center, explains why inflammatory bowel disease often goes untreated and the promising new therapies that can minimize IBD's impact on daily life.

Crohn's and Colitis Support Group

The Crohn's and Colitis Support Group is sponsored by the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America and held at Massachusetts General Hospital. The group is an informal resource to share stories, gather support and learn about coping. Friends and family members are welcome to attend.

Gluten-Free Dietary Guidelines

Massachusetts General Hospital nutritionists offer gluten-free dietary guidelines for patients with celiac disease.

Ostomy Support Group

We welcome patients with a new or existing colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy, and their family and friends, to monthly meetings of the Massachusetts General Hospital Ostomy Support Group.

Crohn's and Colitis Center

CRP 9
165 Cambridge Street
Boston, MA 02114

Phone: 617-724-6005
Hours: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday


To begin the appointment process, contact the Crohn's and Colitis Center access coordinator at 617-724-6005 or request an appointment online.

Next Steps:

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Request an appointment at the Digestive Healthcare Center

Contact the Digestive Healthcare Center to schedule an appointment with one of our digestive health specialists

Discover the Digestive Healthcare Center patient experience

Our approach to patient care brings together a team of digestive health specialists who create a personalized treatment plan for each patient.