What Is an Endoscopic Ultrasonography?
An Endoscopic Ultrasonography or EUS is a minimally invasive diagnostic test your doctor can use to investigate areas of concern in your digestive tract. The test creates a visual image, using sound waves, of organs near the gastrointestinal tract. The specialists at Concorde Gastroenterology professionals with extensive training and experience performing an EUS.
Our specialists use an EUS to examine the upper portion of your digestive tract and small intestine, including your stomach, esophagus and the duodenum. An endoscopic ultrasonography can also be used to examine the lower portion of your digestive tract including your colon and rectum. Other organs can also be studied with an EUS including the pancreas, gallbladder, liver, and lungs.
What does an EUS diagnose?
An endoscopic ultrasound is most commonly diagnoses underlying causes of pain in the abdomen or chest area. It can also be used to evaluate digestive or lung disease. The following conditions are commonly viewed using an EUS.
During your consultation be sure to talk to your Concorde Gastro physician about all medications you take, both prescription and over the counter. Also, discuss any allergies you have and your medical history. Patients must fast before undergoing an upper or lower EUS so their gastrointestinal tract is empty.
However, if they are having a lower ultrasound, patients will need to take a laxative in addition to fasting. If our staff plants to take a biopsy we recommend that patients stop using any blood thinners prior to the procedure. In order to prevent discomfort, our staff will first apply a painkiller to the insertion area. Then, patients receive a sedative for the procedure so we ask that they plan accordingly for a ride home.
Endoscopic Ultrasonography Procedure
During the procedure, your doctor at Concorde Gastroenterology will insert a thin, flexible endoscope that includes a miniature ultrasound probe. This probe uses high-frequency sound waves to form an image, that immediately appears on the video screen, allowing for better diagnosis or evaluation of a known condition.
Typically, the probe is inserted into the patient’s mouth for an upper EUS and into the anal opening for a lower EUS. In both cases, the endoscopic ultrasonography allows our staff to diagnose conditions and perform treatments. An EUS can also be combined with a fine-needle aspiration which allows our staff to obtain tissue for a biopsy during the procedure.
Side Effects of an EUS
With any medical procedure, there are standard risks. EUS is a generally safe procedure but, depending on if it is an upper or lower endoscopic ultrasound, patients can experience some side effects. These risks include infection, bleeding, pancreatitis, and throat, rectum, or intestinal wall perforation. Additionally, if you experience any of the following side effects seek medical attention immediately. Those side effects include:
- Chest Pain
- Black Stool
- Shortness of Breath
- Difficulty Swallowing
- Severe Abdominal Pain