What is endoscopic ultrasound?
Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is a diagnostic procedure performed by a gastroenterologist with advanced training. The procedure combines endoscopy and ultrasound to provide high-resolution, real-time imaging of the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract and surrounding organs. It is often performed as an outpatient procedure under IV sedation.
When it is used to examine the upper digestive tract your esophagus, stomach and small intestines, and the nearby organs – the pancreas, gallbladder and bile ducts and associated lymph nodes, cysts, and blood vessels can be visualized. When used to examine the lower digestive tract your rectum and lower colon, nearby organs – the bladder, prostate and uterus, lymph nodes and tumors, and the anal sphincter can be visualized.
You may have a lesion or abnormality from a previous test that requires closer examination. This procedure allows them to see all the details and take a biopsy if needed.
- It is highly effective, and efficient to assess a wide range of benign and malignant gastrointestinal diseases including pancreatic and gallbladder disease.
- It can be used to help with staging cancer.
- When a tissue sample is needed, the GI doctor uses the ultrasound image to guide a thin needle through the endoscope to take a biopsy, this aids in diagnosis.
- It is used as an adjunct or alternative to conventional surgical therapies and plays an important role in the management of complex surgical and oncology patients.
- Endoscopic ultrasound is recommended as a screening tool for patients at high risk for pancreatic cancer. It can evaluate chronic pancreatitis and other pancreatic disorders.
- It can be used to study tumors in the gallbladder and liver
- It can be used to diagnose the causes of fecal incontinence.
Your clinician will provide complete preoperative instructions including how long to fast before the procedure and whether to take your regular medications when the procedure is on the upper digestive tract. If the examination is for lower digestive system, you may need to do a colon cleanse or follow a clear liquid diet. Because you will receive sedation, you should arrange a ride home in advance of the procedure.
The endoscopic ultrasound scope is a thin, flexible tube with a camera and light on the end. A tiny ultrasound probe is attached to the end of the scope. During the procedure your doctor will insert scope into the body. Ultrasound waves are sent through the endoscope to produce detailed images of the digestive tract. A needle biopsy may be performed to evaluate the tissues in a lab.
After the procedure, you will be sent to recovery for one or two hours to allow the sedative to wear off. You may have a slight sore throat and feel bloated if air and water were introduced into your system during the procedure. Your GI doctor may provide you with preliminary results and if biopsies were performed it can take a few days to receive those results.
Your Gastroenterology Associates of Brooklyn GI doctor will discuss benefits and risks with you prior to the procedure and answer your questions. Then you will sign a consent form for the procedure.