An endoscopy is a nonsurgical procedure where a doctor inserts a flexible scope into a patient’s hollow organ in order to take a look at the digestive tract. An ultrasound uses – get this – sound, to create an internal map. Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is just what it sounds like: a combination of endoscopy and ultrasound.
Debra Deidrick, RN and clinical coordinator with Troy Gastroenterology, gave us a quick overview of EUS.
Endoscopic ultrasound “allows the physician to evaluate mucosal and submucosal lesions along with pancreatic lesions and lymph nodes,” says Deidrick. “Both the upper and lower GI tract can be inspected” with EUS.
Since the tracts can be more thoroughly inspected, doctors can look more closely at tumors, cancers, pancreatic disorders, rectal muscles and intestinal nodules, among other things.
Since EUS combines technologies, it gives a broader picture of the internal organs and digestive tract than other procedures.
To prep for an upper EUS, patients must stop eating after midnight the day of their procedure. For a lower EUS, an enema is needed to clear the rectum of any stool.
Some of the risks associated with endoscopic ultrasound are “perforation of the bowel, bleeding and/or infection,” says Deidrick. But with an experienced technician, these symptoms should be minimal and mild.