Endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) is a highly specialized procedure which allows your doctor to examine your esophageal and stomach linings as well as the walls of your upper and lower gastrointestinal tract. The upper tract consists of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum; the lower tract includes your colon and rectum. EUS is also used to study other organs that are near the gastrointestinal tract, including the lungs, liver, gall bladder and pancreas.
Your physician will use a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope that has a built-in miniature ultrasound probe. Your doctor will pass the endoscope through your mouth or anus to the area to be examined. Your doctor then will use the ultrasound to use sound waves to create visual images of the digestive tract.
EUS provides your doctor with more information than other imaging tests by providing detailed images of your digestive tract. Your doctor can use EUS to diagnose certain conditions that may cause abdominal pain or abnormal weight loss.
EUS is also used to evaluate known abnormalities, including lumps or lesions, which were detected at a prior endoscopy or were seen on x-ray tests, such as a computed tomography (CT) scan. EUS provides a detailed image of the lump or lesion, which can help your doctor determine its origin and help treatment decisions. EUS can be used to diagnose diseases of the pancreas, bile duct and gallbladder when other tests are inconclusive or conflicting.
EUS can also help your doctor determine the extent of spread of certain cancers of the digestive and respiratory systems. EUS allows your doctor to accurately assess the cancer’s depth and whether it has spread to adjacent lymph glands or nearby vital structures, such as major blood vessels. In some patients, EUS can be used to obtain a needle biopsy of a lump or lesion to help your doctor determine the proper treatment.
EUS is performed under IV anesthesia. Your physician will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for the examination to include fasting, bowel cleansing and medication restrictions. You will need to follow these instructions very carefully to ensure the best possible examination. You will need to have an adult drive you home after the procedure because of the sedation used during the procedure.
SOURCE: ASGE Patient Information