What is endoscopic ultrasonography?

Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is an endoscopic technique that provides highly accurate imaging of mucosal, submucosal and periluminal structures. It is often used for the preoperative staging of gastrointestinal (GI) malignancies such as esophageal, gastric, pancreatic and rectal cancers.

An endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) allows your doctor to examine your esophageal and stomach linings as well as the walls of your upper and lower gastrointestinal tract. The upper tract consists of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum; the lower tract includes your colon and rectum. EUS is also used to study other organs that are near the gastrointestinal tract, including the lungs, liver, gall bladder and pancreas. Endoscopists are highly trained specialists who welcome your questions regarding their credentials, training and experience. Your endoscopist will use a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope that has a built-in miniature ultrasound probe. Your doctor will pass the endoscope through your mouth or anus to the area to be examined. Your doctor then will use the ultrasound to use sound waves to create visual images of the digestive tract.

Endoscopic ultrasonography is a technique using miniaturized ultrasound probes inserted into the bile duct or the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract to provide detailed images that aid in the diagnosis of biliary conditions, as well as the staging of patients with esophageal, gastric and rectal cancers.

During endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) a scope is used to initially find the correct positioning within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract being studied. The scope will have an ultrasound probe as part of its mechanism. Once the area to be examined is found (mass, organ of interest, etc.), then the ultrasound probe is turned on and the ultrasound is used to examine structures within and just outside of the wall of the GI tract. It is helpful in examining and biopsying masses located within or outside of the GI tract that previously would have needed surgery to access. It is also very helpful in staging GI tract cancers as the ultrasound will show how deep the mass is and whether it is invading other structures.

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