Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Parents with son walking outside

Make an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with a gastroenterology specialist, please call:

202-444-8541

At the MedStar Georgetown Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center, we understand that IBD can affect people at any stage of life, disrupting their personal, professional, and social experiences. We work together with our IBD patients to provide them with the best medical and surgical care. Our goals are to:

  • Control the disease progression and symptoms
  • Prevent disease complications
  • Minimize medication side effects
  • Achieve the best quality of life

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Conditions Treated and Services Offered

The IBD Center treats all types of IBD conditions, including:

Our patients benefit from the full range of diagnostic, therapeutic, and surgical approaches to IBD care. We offer high-tech imaging, minimally-invasive approaches, the latest prescription medications, and a spectrum of lifestyle and nutrition supports.

What Are the Treatment Options for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Conditions?

For patients with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, our treatment options include inpatient and outpatient infusion and injection therapy. During infusion therapy, patients are administered a type of drug called a biologic through an IV drip.  Biologics target proteins in the body that cause inflammation. When coupled with quality care coordination, infusion options can help patients with moderate to severe IBD successfully treat symptoms, avoid complications of their disease, and potentially reverse the damage caused by inflammation.

How can I participate in a clinical trial for ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease? 
Schedule a visit to discuss whether you qualify for one of our trials in ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. 202-444-8541

Watch the video below to hear Dr. Mark Mattar explain the difference between IBD, Crohn's disease, and colitis. 

Our Multidisciplinary Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Team 

Every member of our team has specialized expertise in treating IBD patients. The IBD Center also cares for the highest volume of patients with IBD in the entire Washington, D.C., area—meaning that our clinicians and researchers have unparalleled experience in this specialty. Our team’s depth of clinical knowledge is key to helping patients achieve their best possible outcomes. We understand that each patient's situation is unique, and our IBD Center offers second opinions on how to manage complex and challenging situations.

IBD Qurus and Crohn's and Colitis FoundationThe MedStar Georgetown IBD Center patients participate in IBD Qorus. To learn more about our commitment to IBD quality of care, click here.

Patients at the IBD Center benefit from a collaborative clinical approach.  Gastroenterologists, surgeons, radiologists, and pathologists come together at multidisciplinary IBD rounds to discuss and review the details of each patient's case and devise the best plan of care. All of the clinicians at these team meetings have specific expertise in managing and treating IBD patients.

The gastroenterologists on our IBD team also work closely with other physicians throughout the MedStar Health network and across clinical specialties, including:

IBD Patient on the Mend Without Surgery

When a team of gastrointestinal experts helps avert surgery, the relief is palpable.

Ashlee Payton was only 21 years old when she suddenly experienced terrible stomach pains while on antibiotics for a tooth infection. She had never experienced severe gastrointestinal (GI) problems before, and she even saw blood in her stool.

“Something clearly wasn’t right— beyond my tooth,” the Southern Maryland resident says.

A colonoscopy revealed mild ulcerative colitis, and she was treated with low-dose oral anti-inflammatory medications.

“It was very frustrating and scary. I had to use the bathroom a lot,” Ashlee says. “I was uncomfortable, and I just wanted answers.”

“I am so grateful the team at MedStar Georgetown took another look and found a way to help me live a normal life again. I feel very lucky.”

-Ashlee Payton

Her symptoms continued on and off for several months, so her doctor decided to do another colonoscopy. While waiting two weeks for the results, Ashlee’s colitis went from mild to severe. She developed fevers, and her stomach pain intensified, making it difficult for her to eat and sleep. Walking was also challenging, as it made her dizzy.

Her family rushed her to a local ER, where doctors discovered she had lost so much blood that she needed two transfusions. Another colonoscopy led to a diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which causes inflammation of the digestive tract.

Ashlee’s severe case prompted her local doctors to transfer her to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, where she met Mark C. Mattar, MD, director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center. His team immediately started discussing treatment options with her family, and they opted for a highdose, biologic infusion to help reduce inflammation in her digestive tract.

“While one dose is generally enough to control the inflammation, Ashlee’s symptoms were so advanced that she required a second dose while still in the hospital,” says Dr. Mattar.

He gathered his team of IBD experts, including Mohammed Bayasi, MD, colorectal surgeon, and Michele Barnhill, MD, GI fellow, for Ashlee's care. With her condition still not responding to aggressive medical management, the IBD team agreed to schedule Ashlee for surgery to remove her colon and replace it—first with a temporary ostomy bag and then a permanent internal ileo-anal pouch, or J-pouch, to allow her to have somewhat normal bowel movements again.

The day before her scheduled surgery, Ashlee had pre-surgical blood work completed, and something happened that surprised everyone: her blood work came back normal.

“Everyone was shocked,” Ashlee says. “Doctors suddenly put the brakes on everything and said—hold on. We should do another colonoscopy.”

Amazingly, that procedure showed Ashlee’s colon had finally healed. With surgery called off, she felt tremendous relief.

“Surgery is a necessity and can save people’s lives when inflammatory bowel disease is acute, severe, and not responding to medication,” Dr. Mattar says. “But this type of deep pelvic surgery can double the risk for infertility in young patients. We’re very pleased that in Ashlee’s case, this shared decision-making approach and extra colonoscopy saved her colon and, potentially, her fertility.”

Ashlee is now in remission and successfully managing her condition with infusions every eight weeks, which help to avoid further flare-ups and complications from inflammation. The treatment is an immunosuppressant, which weakens the immune system and increases the chances of infection. But, she says, she is doing well. She’s even returned to her job.

“I am so grateful the team at MedStar Georgetown took another look and found a way to help me live a normal life again,” Ashlee says. “I feel very lucky.”

Meet our IBD Clinicians

Gastroenterology

Mattar Mark, MD
Mark C. Mattar, MD, FACG, AGAF
Director, IBD Center 
Gastroenterology

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

Nidhi MALHOTRA, MD
Nidhi Malhotra, MD
Gastroenterology

MedStar Washington Hospital Center
MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center

Aimee E. LeStrange, CRNP
Aimee E. LeStrange, CRNP
Nurse Practitioner

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital


Kerry E. McGonagle, CRNP
Nurse Practitioner

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital


Deepthi Neelam
Nurse Liaison

Peter Chi
Peter Chi
Nurse Liaison

Colon and Rectal Surgery

Mohammed Bayasi, MD
Mohammed Bayasi, MD
Colon and Rectal Surgery

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
MedStar Health at Lafayette Centre

Brain Bello, MD
Brian Lim Bello, MD
Colon and Rectal Surgery

MedStar Washington Hospital Center
MedStar Montgomery Medical Center

 

James Francis Fitzgerald, MD
James Francis FitzGerald, MD
Colon and Rectal Surgery

MedStar Washington Hospital Center
MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center

 

Jennifer Ayscue, MD
Jennifer Ayscue, MD
Colon and Rectal Surgery

MedStar Washington Hospital Center
MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center

David Lisle, MD
David M. Lisle, MD
Colon and Rectal Surgery

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center

 

Thomas Stahl, MD
Thomas J. Stahl, MD
Regional Director of the MedStar Colorectal Surgery Program at MedStar Health

MedStar Washington Hospital Center
MedStar Montgomery Medical Center

 

David E. Stein, MD
David E. Stein, MD
Regional Chief of Surgery for MedStar Health, Baltimore

Jeffery P. Ferris, MD
Jeffrey Ferris, MD
Chief of Colorectal Surgery and General Surgery at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center

 

Pediatric Gastroenterology

Mariastella Serrano, MD
Mariastella Serrano, MD
Chief, Pediatric Gastroenterology 

MedStar Georgetown Pediatrics and Obstetrics & Gynecology at Tenleytown

Dayhe Dana Hong, MD
Dayhe Dana Hong, MD
Pediatric Gastroenterology

MedStar Georgetown Pediatrics and Obstetrics & Gynecology at Tenleytown

Kathryn Ross Rowell, CRNP
Kathryn Ross Rowell,CRNP
Pediatric Gastroenterology

MedStar Georgetown Pediatrics and Obstetrics & Gynecology at Tenleytown

 

Nutritionist

 Monica Cicchini, RD
Monica Cicchini, RD
Nutritionist

MedStar Georgetown Pediatrics and Obstetrics & Gynecology at Tenleytown

 

Research and Specialized Partners


Sona Vasudevan, PhD

Georgetown School of Medicine, Microbiome and IBD

Sukanya Subramanian, MD
Sukanya Subramanian, MD

MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute, Short Bowel Specialist

Michael Atkins, MD
Michael Atkins, MD

Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Immunotherapy and Coliti