Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)
Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) combines endoscopy and ultrasound to allow a doctor to examine the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and nearby organs and tissues.
In EUS, a small ultrasound transducer is fitted to the tip of the endoscope. By inserting the endoscope into the mouth to see the upper GI tract, or into the anus to see the lower digestive tract, the doctor can obtain detailed, high-quality ultrasound images of the body’s internal organs. Your upper GI tract includes your esophagus, stomach and small intestine. Your lower GI tract includes your colon, rectum and anus.
EUS is increasingly used to evaluate gastrointestinal and lung diseases, including:
- Anal sphincter and incontinence
- Barrett's esophagus with high-grade dysplasia
- Neuroendocrine tumors
- Common bile duct stones
- Gastric cancer/MALT lymphoma
- Esophageal cancer
- Lung cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Chronic pancreatitis
- Cystic neoplasms of the pancreas
- Rectal cancer
- Rectal fistulas
- Smooth muscle tumors
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Stages of cancers
- Rectal and anal muscles to find the reasons for fecal incontinence
- Other abnormalities in organs, such as the liver and gallbladder
During the EUS Procedure
After you are sedated, the endoscopist will insert the endoscope into your mouth, through the food tube (esophagus), and into the upper small intestine (duodenum). The endoscope does not interfere with your breathing while it is inside your body. The test generally takes an hour or less. Patients often do not remember the procedure. Many fall asleep while the procedure is in progress.
After the EUS Procedure
Your doctor can usually tell you the preliminary results of the EUS test after it is completed. However, if tissue samples (biopsies) were taken, it will take longer, usually days, to get the lab results.
After the procedure, you will be able to eat, unless your doctor gives you other instructions.
If you were given sedatives for the procedure, you will rest in the recovery area until much of the sedative effect has worn off. You should not drive afterward, even if you feel fine. Instead, ask a relative or a friend to drive you home. You should also arrange for someone to be with you at home that day because the sedatives can impair your judgment for the remainder of the day.
Possible Complications of EUS
Possible complications include:
- Bleeding from any tissue biopsy site: This usually stops on its own and rarely requires follow-up.
- Sore throat: Throat lozenges may help, and this side effect usually goes away in a day or two.
- Reaction to the sedative (if given)
- Perforation or a tear in the intestinal lining: This rarely occurs, but can require surgery to repair.
- Infection: This risk is increased if a needle biopsy is done.
- Pancreatitis: This risk is increased if a needle biopsy is done.