Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) is an examination that combines endoscopy and ultrasound to evaluate the digestive tract and surrounding tissues for abnormalities. The EUS procedure is often very beneficial in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders within the digestive tract. This procedure offers your physician with optimal visualization into your digestive tract. While the endoscopy provides your physician with images of the stomach, small intestine, colon and esophagus, the ultrasound utilizes high frequency sound waves to provide images of internal organs that otherwise could not be viewed without surgery. The combination of these two technologies allows your physician to obtain a detailed view of the lining and walls of the gastrointestinal tract in addition to surrounding organs such as the pancreas, bile duct and gallbladder. The EUS procedure often provides insight into the cause of a condition when other exams have fallen short or have been inconclusive.
There are certain situations where the EUS procedure is highly recommended, including:
- For further evaluation into identified but unexplained abnormalities in the pancreas, bile duct, or gastrointestinal wall
- To identify the cause of pancreatitis
- To evaluate pancreatic cysts
- To check for gallstones or bile duct stones
- For the biopsy of lymph nodes that are found close to the esophagus, stomach, duodenum or rectum
- For the biopsy of lesions to the spleen, liver or left adrenal glands
- Screening, staging and diagnosis of certain cancers, including esophageal, stomach, rectum, pancreas, gallbladder and lung cancer.
Prior to the availability of EUS, many of these disorders were very difficult to view within the body, and therefore were difficult to properly diagnose. This is because serious conditions are often hidden from your physicians view by their position beneath organs and intestines. The EUS procedure offers a variety of angles to combat this problem, and offers enhanced imaging for the early diagnosis and treatment of certain conditions.
Currently, the EUS procedure is not available by many health care providers. In fact, Gastroenterology Consultants is the first to offer this service in the North Nevada and Reno areas. In much of this area, Gastroenterology Consultants remains the only practice that offers the EUS treatment.
In preparation for the EUS procedure you will be asked to fast from all food and liquid for six hours prior to the procedure. Just before the examination you will be treated with a mild sedative in order to relieve any discomfort from the endoscope. Due to the sedatives, you will not be able to work or drive for 24 hours following the exam, but will be released from the hospital shortly after the examination to return home. For this reason, it is important that you have a companion with you to take you home when your exam is complete.
During the procedure, your Gastroenterologist will monitor the inside of your intestinal tract on a TV monitor that is inside of the examination room. The procedure will take between 30 and 60 minutes. Due to the endoscopy component to the EUS procedure you may feel slightly bloated or experience a mild sore throat after the procedure. These side effects are temporary and will diminish quickly on their own.