EUS or Endoscopic Ultrasonography-

Updates August 12, 2010

EUS or Endoscopic Ultrasonography-

What is it?

EUS allows your doctor to examine your stomach lining as well as the walls of your upper and lower gastrointestinal tract.  The upper tract is the esophagus, stomach and duodenum.  The lower tract includes your colon and rectum.  EUS is also used to study internal organs that lie next to the gastrointestinal tract, such as the gall bladder and pancreas.

Your endoscopist will use a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope.  Your doctor will pass the endoscope through your mouth or anus to the area to be examined.  Your doctor will then turn on the ultrasound attachment to produce sound waves that create visual images of the digestive tract.

Why is EUS done?

EUS provides your doctor with more information than other imaging tests by providing more detailed pictures of your digestive tract.  Your doctor can use EUS to diagnose the cause of conditions such as abdominal pain or abnormal weight loss.  Or, if your doctor has ruled out certain conditions, EUS can confirm your diagnosis and give you a clean bill of health.

EUS is also used to evaluate an abnormality such as a lump,  that was detected at a prior endoscopy.  EUS provides a picture of the lump, which can help your doctor determine its nature and help him decide the best treatment.  In addition, EUS can be used to diagnose diseases of the pancreas, bile duct and gallbladder when other tests are inconclusive.

Therapeutic ERCP (GI Endoscopy)

What is ERCP?  It is also known as endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography

The ERCP allows the doctor to diagnose liver, gallbladder, bile duct, and pancreas problems.

What is it used for?:

An ERCP may be necessary to find the cause of jaundice, upper abdominal pain, or unexplained weight loss. In this test, an X-ray is combined with an endoscope (a long, flexible, lighted tube). Through the endoscope the doctor can see the stomach, duodenum and ducts in the biliary tree and pancreas.

How is it done?:

You will lie on your left side on an examining table in an X-ray room. You will be given some medication to numb your throat, and a sedative to help you relax. You will swallow the endoscope, and the doctor will navigate it through your esophagus, stomach and duodenum until it gets to the ducts of the biliary tree and pancreas.

You will then be turned to lie flat on your stomach and a small plastic tube will be passed through the scope. Through this tube the doctor will inject dye which will make the ducts show up better on X-rays. A radiologist will then take X-rays. If a gallstone is present, or the ducts are narrowed, the doctor can remove or work around these problems by inserting instruments into the scope. Biopsies may be taken for testing in a laboratory.

An ERCP can take 30 minutes to 2 hours to complete. There may be discomfort when the doctor gently pumps air into the duodenum and injects dye into the ducts. You will need to rest for an hour or two after the procedure until the sedative wears off. You will be checked for complications by the doctor before you are allowed to leave. If any treatments, such as the removal of a gallstone, is done during the procedure, an overnight stay in the hospital may be necessary.