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Infusion Services

DHI’s outpatient infusion services give patients more treatment options

Sometimes medicines work better when they are injected directly into the bloodstream. That is where infusion services come in. Some digestive conditions, especially IBD and gastrointestinal bleeding, require treatment in the form of drugs delivered through IV. At the Digestive Health Institute, we offer these services to patients in a convenient outpatient setting.

What Conditions Is Infusion Therapy Used to Treat?

Some of the more common digestive conditions that may require infusion treatment are:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Motility disorders, including achalasia and pseudo-obstruction
  • Dehydration
  • Iron deficiency

Infusion Therapy for IBD

When other treatments have not worked, infusion therapy is a common treatment for inflammatory bowel disease. There are several categories of drugs for treating Crohn’s disease and/or ulcerative colitis that are delivered by IV.

Common infusion medications for IBD are biologics, which include:

  • Anti-TNF medicines, or alpha inhibitors such as Remicade (infliximab), that reduce inflammation
  • Anti-integin medicines, such as Entyvio (vedolizumab), that limit autoimmune response
  • Anti-interleukin medicines, such as Stelara (ustekinumav) that reduce inflammation-causing proteins produced by the body's immune system

In addition to infusion services, DHI offers specialty lab services for patients with IBD. These include specialized blood tests unique to IBD. DHI also offers vaccines for flu, shingles, pneumonia and HPV because it is especially important for patients with IBD to be immune to these conditions.

Infusion Therapy for GI Bleeding

Some patients who have a bleeding gastric (peptic) ulcer are treated by infusion with a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). A PPI reduces stomach acid, which allow the ulcer to heal and can prevent it from bleeding again. While PPIs are often oral medicines, a bleeding ulcer requires them to be given through an IV.

What Does Infusion Therapy Involve?

Talk with your doctor or nurse so you will know exactly what to expect. In most cases, infusions are delivered intravenously with an IV. You will come to our offices and be called back to a comfortable treatment bay. You may be weighed so that you are given the right amount of medication. As your medicine is prepared, an IV will be started for you. This IV is usually placed in your hand or forearm.

Through your IV port, the medicine or medicines being used to treat you will flow into your bloodstream. How long your infusion takes depends on your treatment. Most infusion treatment sessions last between 30 minutes and two hours. A nurse will periodically stop in to see you and take your vital signs. During this time, you will want to have something to do. You could read a book, knit, watch a movie on your laptop with headphones or talk with the person accompanying you. After your infusion is over, you might be monitored for a length of time before you are free to go.

Infusion therapy often requires multiple treatment sessions that take place days, weeks or even months apart.

If you need an appointment for infusion therapy for IBD or another digestive condition, call DHI at (813) 615-7557.

SURGICAL CONSULTATIONS FOR DIGESTIVE CANCER Without The Wait

APPOINTMENTS WITHIN 5 DAYS FOR PATIENTS WITH CANCER

At DHI, we know that after being diagnosed with cancer, patients want and often need to begin treatment quickly. So we make it a priority to offer appointments for cancer surgery consultations within 5 business days, and often earlier. Our surgeons will make themselves available to see you right away, even for a second opinion.

Patients who are newly diagnosed with cancer, or have just found out they have cancer recurrence, qualify for this priority access. Our surgeons will make themselves available to see you right away, even for a second opinion. We want to help you start your treatment as soon as possible.

If you have been diagnosed with a cancer of the digestive system, don’t wait.
Call the Digestive Health Institute at (813) 615-7440.

Learn more about our Surgical Cancer Care program.

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