An Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) is similar to an upper endoscopy which allows a doctor to look at the interior lining of the esophagus, stomach and the first part of the small intestine through a thin, flexible viewing instrument called an endoscope.
However, the EUS goes beyond the endoscope with an ultrasound component, producing soundwaves that create visual, more detailed images. In addition, the EUS allows for removal of tissue samples through a needle, which is guided by the EUS. This technology replaces a traditional biopsy for diagnosis, which is considered an open surgical procedure, thereby reducing risk to the patient and speeding recovery time.
The EUS allows physicians to diagnose the cause of conditions, including cancer that affect the esophagus, stomach, colon, rectum and pancreas. It also aids in the diagnosis of gall bladder and lung disease. This non-invasive, diagnostic imaging tool helps determine the local staging of digestive system tumors by accurately evaluating the cancer's depth, as well as assessing the surrounding lymph glands with its 360 degree radial scope. This information then helps the physician decide upon the proper course for treatment. The entire procedure, including tissue removal, if needed, takes approximately 30 minutes and is performed on an outpatient basis.