Inflammatory Bowel Disease
What to Expect

What to Expect When You Choose Us

Specialists at the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center provide personalized, effective care that is based on the best research – some of which happens right here at Cincinnati Children’s. Most children and adolescents in our care achieve remission with medication and diet. If surgery is needed, our team of pediatric colorectal surgeons is here to provide expert care.

We know that in order to provide the best results for your child, we need you. Your input, feelings and opinions are vital to helping us understand the challenges your child is facing. We will get to know you and your child and include you in the process of making decisions and assessing progress. Whenever possible, we will collaborate with your child’s primary care physician as part of our comprehensive strategy for care.

Team Collaboration

The IBD Center offers a “one-stop clinic” for kids with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and very-early-onset IBD. Your child will see multiple experts during the same visit, which means better care coordination and fewer individual appointments.

Our team includes pediatric gastroenterologists, surgeons, pain management specialists, psychologists, expert IBD nurses, registered dietitians and a social worker. All of our team members have extensive experience caring for children with IBD. We’ll customize each clinic visit based on which specialists your child needs to see that day.

After initial treatment begins, we’ll continue to monitor your child’s progress through clinic visits and regularly scheduled lab tests that measure intestinal healing. Careful timing of follow-up endoscopy or imaging tests is also important to directly assess healing. These tests help to identify early warning signs of problems that might need medical treatment. Research shows that patients who are monitored in this way have fewer flare-ups of disease and need fewer hospitalizations or surgery.

You and your child are important members of the care team. At every appointment, we will ask for your impressions about your child’s symptoms and progress. If at any time your child is not doing as well as expected, the care team will meet to discuss possible strategies and ideas for improvement. We base all treatment recommendations on the latest research and data to ensure the best care possible. Through the consistent use of evidence-based care practices, we have achieved outcomes that are among the best, compared to other large pediatric IBD programs in the United States.

Encouraging Self-management Through Education

Our team also is proactive about helping patients identify self-care goals and manage their condition for life. When the time comes, we will help your child make the transition to an adult-care provider.

We want parents to be well-informed, too. At your child’s first appointment, your family will receive a comprehensive IBD Handbook, which we developed to help you and your family manage your child’s condition. We are available by phone or MyChart to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

The IBD team encourages all new families to attend one of our “new diagnosis orientation sessions,” which include:

  • Information about our program and the services we offer
  • An opportunity meet other families who are new to IBD
  • A chance to interact with our staff and ask questions

These sessions are currently being offered in a virtual format only. Please ask a member of your child’s healthcare team for more details.

Always Learning, Always Improving

Our team always strives to improve care for our patients and their families. As part of this commitment, Cincinnati Children’s helped establish ImproveCareNow, a quality improvement and learning network for pediatric inflammatory bowel disease providers and researchers, as well as patients and families. Our physicians continue to provide leadership within the network, which now includes more than 100 member institutions in the United States and internationally.

Participating care providers and researchers analyze results from thousands of doctor-patient visits and review the latest IBD studies and treatments worldwide. As we share this information, we continue to improve care for all patients. Since we helped establish ImproveCareNow, remission rates at all member hospitals have improved significantly.

Support for Families

Our center offers resources to support families on their IBD journey. We offer:

  • A virtual support group called IBDevoted. This group works together to support patients and families and improve care for children, adolescents and young adults with IBD. IBDevoted also funds research and education to find a cure for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
  • A mentoring program for patients and their parents. Our patient mentors are young adults age 18 to 22 years old who have IBD. They are excited about connecting with kids who are new to IBD. A mentor can talk to your child about their experiences with medications and surgery and give tips about sensitive topics such as talking to friends about IBD. Our parent mentors provide the same kind of support and guidance for parents who are new to IBD.
  • An annual Education Day. Planned in collaboration with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, Cincinnati Children’s IBD Education Day is an annual educational event for IBD patients and families. During this event, regional IBD experts present on a range of topics relevant to an audience of all ages. Our educational program also includes an Ask the Experts Q&A session, a session for Teen & Tween Talk and a vendor fair. The most recent event was held on February 27, 2022. Session recordings shared here:
  • Resources for Out-of-Town Families. To ensure your family’s time with us is as stress-free and comfortable as possible, Cincinnati Children’s offers Concierge Services to help you plan travel details. Find out how we can help before and during your visit.
Gastroenterology & GI Surgery.

Our gastroenterology and GI surgery programs are ranked No. 2 in the nation in the 2023-24 list of Best Children’s Hospitals published by U.S. News & World Report.

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Exceptional Outcomes


Patients in remission with no symptoms after three months of treatment


Patients who are not taking steroid medication after three months of treatment


Patients with satisfactory growth 


Patients who came to the IBD Center seeking a second opinion in 2019 


July 2021-June 2022 Research funding from the National Institutes of Health and other sources in FY22

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MyChart is an online tool for patients, offering an easy way to review your child’s medical records. Learn More