Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) allows your doctor to examine the walls and lining of your upper and lower gastrointestinal tract. EUS is also used to study internal organs that lie next to the gastrointestinal tract, such as the gall bladder and pancreas.
EUS provides your doctor more detailed pictures of your digestive tract anatomy. This can help your doctor diagnose the cause of conditions such as abdominal pain or abnormal weight loss. It may also be requested to evaluate an abnormality such as a growth, that was detected at a prior endoscopy or by x-ray. EUS provides a detailed picture of the growth, which can help your doctor determine its nature and decide upon the best treatment. EUS may also be used to diagnose diseases of the pancreas, bile duct and gallbladder when other tests are inconclusive.
A thin, flexible tube, called an endoscope with a built-in ultrasound, is inserted through your mouth to allow your doctor access to your upper GI tract, or your rectum to access the lower GI tract. The upper tract is the esophagus, stomach and duodenum; the lower tract includes your colon and rectum. The images are relayed on a monitor, and will help your doctor diagnose any inflammation or other issues with the lining of these tracts, or adjacent organs.
If you received sedatives, you will be monitored in the recovery area until most of the sedative effects have worn off. If you had an upper EUS, your throat might be sore, and you might feel bloated because of the air and water that were introduced during the examination. You'll be able to eat after you leave the procedure area, unless instructed otherwise. Your doctor generally can inform you of the results of the procedure the same day, but the results of some tests will take longer.
Although complications can occur, they are rare when doctors with specialized training and experience perform the examination. Bleeding might occur at a biopsy site, but it´s usually minimal and rarely requires follow-up. You might have a sore throat for a day or more. Non-prescription throat lozenges and painkillers can help relieve a sore throat. Other potential, but more uncommon risks of EUS include a reaction to the sedatives used, backwash of stomach contents into your lungs, infection, and complications from heart or lung diseases.
One major but very uncommon complication of EUS is perforation. This is a tear through the lining of the intestine that might require surgery to repair. The possibility of complications increases slightly if a deep needle aspiration is performed during the examination. These risks must be balanced against the potential benefits of the procedure, and you should discuss with your doctor these risks, as well as the risks of alternative approaches to the condition.