EUS - Endoscopic Ultrasonography
The doctors of Gastroenterology of Southern Indiana must often perform routine procedures for the evaluation and treatment of many digestive tract problems. For detailed information regarding a specific procedure, simply click on the procedure listed below. The information about the following procedures is meant as a reference only and should not be used as diagnostic treatment.
Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) combines endoscopy and ultrasound in order to obtain images and information about the digestive tract and the surrounding tissue and organs.
EUS provides your doctor more detailed pictures of your digestive tract anatomy. Your doctor can use EUS to diagnose the cause of conditions such as abdominal pain or abnormal weight loss. Or, if your doctor has ruled out certain conditions, EUS can confirm your diagnosis and give you a clean bill of health.
EUS is also used to evaluate an abnormality, such as a growth, that was detected during a prior endoscopy or by X-ray. EUS provides a detailed picture of the growth, which can help your doctor determine its nature and decide upon the best treatment.
In addition, EUS can be used to diagnose diseases of the pancreas, bile duct and gallbladder when other tests are inconclusive.
EUS is performed with sedation so you will not be able to return to work or to drive for 24 hours. It also means that you will need someone to take you home as this is usually an out-patient procedure.
You will need to have an empty stomach which means no oral intake for 6 or more hours. In case of a rectal EUS, you will probably need to take some enemas or laxatives. In either case, full instructions will be given to you.
In EUS, a small ultrasound transducer is installed on the tip of the endoscope. By inserting the endoscope into the upper or the lower digestive tract, one can obtain high quality ultrasound images of the organs inside the body.
Placing the transducer on the tip of an endoscope allows the transducer to get close to the organs inside the body. Because of the proximity of the EUS transducer to the organ(s) of interest, the images obtained are frequently more accurate and more detailed than the ones obtained by traditional ultrasound. The EUS also can obtain information about the layers of the intestinal wall as well as adjacent areas such as lymph nodes and the blood vessels.
The uses of EUS include studying the flow of blood inside blood vessels using Doppler ultrasound, and to obtain tissue samples by passing a special needle, under ultrasound guidance, into enlarged lymph nodes or suspicious tumors. The tissue or cells obtained by the needle can be examined by a pathologist under a microscope. The process of obtaining tissue with a thin needle is called fine needle aspiration (FNA).
Like other endoscopy procedures, EUS is safe and well tolerated. No procedure is without risk, although complications with EUS are quite rare. Complication rate for EUS without the fine needle aspiration is about 1 in 2,000. This is similar to the complication rate of other endoscopy procedures. Sometimes, patients can develop reactions such as hives, skin rash or nausea to the medications used during EUS. A lump may appear in the area of the vein where the IV was placed. This usually resolves over time. Should it persist, you should contact your physician. The main complication of serious note is perforation (making a hole in the intestinal wall) that may require surgical repair. This is quite rare and all precautions are taken to avoid it.