Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)
What is an Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)?
Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is a powerful tool that allows physicians to examine the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract and nearby organs such as the pancreas, liver and gallbladder.
How Does EUS Work?
The procedure involves passing an endoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a very small ultrasound camera on its tip) into the digestive tract. The ultrasound probe produces sound waves that create detailed pictures of the pancreas, stomach, small intestine and surrounding tissues that are then interpreted in real-time by your physician.
As the endoscope passes through the mouth and into the stomach, the physician can view high definition images of the internal organs. This allows for a very detailed evaluation of the area of concern.
Advantages of Endoscopic Ultrasound
- Safer than CT scans – Less exposure to radiation
- No Incisions – Less invasive, avoids damage to internal organ
- Better Detection – EUS is the gold standard for staging and providing information about the spread of cancer.
- High-Definition Images – Suspicious growths can be further evaluated with EUS, helping doctors better understand the nature of the condition and prescribe the best treatment option for you.
What Does EUS treatment detect and treat?
EUS can be used for a wide range of gastrointestinal abnormalities, including to:
- Diagnose diseases of the internal organs such as the pancreas. For example, to detect inflammation of the pancreas (chronic pancreatitis) or cysts of the pancreas.
- Detect common bile duct stones and find gallstones.
- Accurately collect fluid samples from the lungs or the abdominal cavity for analysis.
- Look for and stage gastrointestinal and other cancers such as esophagus, stomach, and pancreatic cancers.
What are the Benefits of EUS?
Endoscopic ultrasound allows physicians to get in very close proximity to the organ, providing a much wider view with very detailed images that cannot be seen with a CT or MRI scan. Because the EUS scope has a video camera on it, endoscopic evaluations provide a digitally superior image of the area of concern. In conventional endoscopy, the gastroenterologist can only view the innermost lining of the digestive tract, or the wall. The addition of ultrasound allows the physician to see beyond that wall to visualize all five layers of the digestive tract as well as surrounding tissue and organs. This means that an abnormality below the surface of your digestive tract wall—such as a growth that was detected at a prior endoscopy or under x-ray, or a suspicious mass on one of your internal organs—can be further evaluated under EUS.
How is the Procedure Performed?
EUS is performed using intravenous sedatives which help you relax. Most patients consider the procedure only slightly uncomfortable, while some fall asleep during it. The actual procedure takes approximately 45-60 minutes. Before you are discharged, you will have an opportunity to meet with your physician to discuss the results of the EUS.
Will I be Admitted for the Procedure?
No, the procedure is usually performed as an outpatient. Most patients are able to go home 3-4 hours after they arrive.
Why Choose Alta Bates Summit Medical Center?
Alta Bates Summit is committed to investing in new technologies like EUS to give our patients access to the latest treatment options. Our physicians and medical teams use a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach when diagnosing and treating gastrointestinal cancers.
Alta Bates Summit is ranked as High Performing in Gastroenterology by U.S. News & World Report.