Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are heterogeneous diseases
with multiple patterns of organ involvement, phenotypes, and major differences in severity and disease course.In addition, both have a substantial impact
on the physical health, social functioning and quality of life of patients. Optimal care
for these patients requires the coordinated action
of a number of health care professionals that are commonly integrated in functional transversal IBD comprehensive care units.
Despite improvements in medical therapy in the field of inflammatory bowel disease, so far this has not resulted in major impact on surgery requirements, and optimal decision making is best performed in the context of a multidisciplinary approach including the participation of dedicated IBD specialists, endoscopists, surgeons, radiologists and pathologists.
Integration of diverse fields of knowledge is equally important for science. Inflammatory bowel disease results from an abnormal interaction between immune response, microbiome, and environmental factors in genetically susceptible individuals. None of these factors have so far been sufficiently characterized to develop strategies for long term control and improvement of the course of the disease.
It has become apparent that working alone is no longer acceptable in the field of inflammatory bowel disease, and that only working under the structure of a multidisciplinary team we can bring the best standards of care to our patients.