Patient Education: Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)

Upper endoscopy enables the physician to look inside the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (first part of the small intestine). The procedure might be used to discover the reason for swallowing difficulties, nausea, vomiting, reflux, bleeding, indigestion, abdominal pain, or chest pain. Upper endoscopy is also called EGD, which stands for esophagogastroduodenoscopy.

For the procedure you will swallow a thin, flexible, lighted tube called an endoscope. Right before the procedure the physician will spray your throat with a numbing agent that may help prevent gagging. You may also receive pain medicine and a sedative to help you relax during the exam. The endoscope transmits an image of the inside of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum, so the physician can carefully examine the lining of these organs. The scope also blows air into the stomach; this expands the folds of tissue and makes it easier for the physician to examine the stomach.

Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is a procedure that allows a doctor to obtain images and information about the digestive tract and the surrounding tissue and organs, including the lungs. Ultrasound testing uses sound waves to make a picture of internal organs.

During the procedure, a small ultrasound device is installed on the tip of an endoscope. An endoscope is a small, lighted, flexible tube with a camera attached. By inserting the endoscope and camera into the upper or the lower digestive tract, the doctor is able to obtain high-quality ultrasound images of organs. Because the EUS can get close to the organ(s) being examined, the images obtained with EUS are often more accurate and detailed than images provided by traditional ultrasound which must travel from the outside of the body.

Preparation

A person undergoing an endoscopic ultrasound will be sedated prior to the procedure. After sedation, the doctor inserts an endoscope into the person's mouth or rectum. The doctor will observe the inside of the intestinal tract on a TV monitor and the ultrasound image on another monitor. Additionally the sound wave testing may be used to locate and help take biopsies (small piece of tissue to examine by microscope). The entire procedure usually takes 30 to 90 minutes and the patient usually can go home the same day of the procedure.

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