Patients are typically suffering from inflammatory bowel disease and intestinal failure with a need for intravenous nutritional support. Rare cases with diarrhoea and malabsorption of unknown aetiology are also taken in. The department is staffed by a team that offers a professional and multidisciplinary approach to patients with gastrointestinal disease.
Management of this condition has been a key role of the department for several years. Patients are referred from other hospitals due to the acute loss of gastrointestinal function following surgery, with bowel resection and often a diverting stoma. Underlying disease includes inflammatory conditions, vascular disease, complications following surgery and radiation enteritis. The task of the department is to perform nutritional assessment, design a nutrition regime, manage any metabolic derangement and to offer nutrition support until gastrointestinal function is re-established.
Home parenteral nutrition
The department has been offering this service to patients since the early 1970s. Not all patients with intestinal failure regain nutritional autonomy and therefore they need continuous support with parenteral nutrition. The specific task is to perform nutritional assessment, design a nutrition regime and educate patients, relatives or home-care nurses in managing home treatment with parenteral nutrition (HPN). A multidisciplinary approach is a key element, involving specialist nurses, gastroenterologists and the hospital pharmacy. At present more than 130 patients are being supported by the team, making the department one of the largest centres for HPN in Europe.
Difficult inflammatory bowel disease cases
The department is a regional referral centre for more difficult inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) cases. The IBD treatment is multi-disciplinary and department specialists in gastroenterology closely collaborate with the department of abdominal surgery, obstetrics, radiology and other services, all dedicated to accurately diagnosing and managing IBD and improving patients’ quality of life.