Regional Gastrointestinal Consultants

Endoscopic Ultrasound

Endoscopic Ultrasound

What is an Endoscopic Ultrasound?

Endoscopic Ultrasound (“EUS”) requires an endoscope with a tiny, ultrasound tool at the end. This endoscope is inserted via a patient’s mouth, or anus and guided toward whichever area of the intestines is being address. Also, an interesting fact, by putting the endoscope into the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract, EUS can create pictures of the surrounding structures, not just those inside the gut. The ultrasound probe is used to create detailed pictures of the body, including the intestines, lungs, pancreas, liver, gallbladder and stomach.

EUS can also look at other structures lower down in the body by inserting the endoscope through the rectum into the lower part of the gastrointestinal tract, and is an excellent way to look at and take samples from different regions of the body.

Ultrasound travels freely through fluid and soft tissues. However, ultrasound is reflected back (it bounces back as ‘echoes’) when it hits a more solid (dense) surface. For example, the ultrasound will travel freely though blood in a heart chamber. But, when it hits a solid valve, the ultrasound echoes back. Another example is that when ultrasound travels though bile in a gallbladder it will echo back strongly if it hits a solid gallstone.

So, as ultrasound ‘hits’ different structures of different density in the body, it sends back echoes of varying strength. This helps to build a picture of the structures surrounding the probe.

Endoscopic ultrasounds produce medical images with a significant amount of detail without having to resort to open or laparoscopic surgery. They can also help a doctor get a better look at growths and other abnormalities found during prior exams, such as CT scan. For example, unlike a final x-ray image, the final image of an endoscopic ultrasound will display accurate information about how deep into the tissue and other organs a growth has spread. Accordingly, EUS is often turned to as a method of monitoring and treatment cancers of the respiratory and digestive systems. During EUS, biopsy of cancerous tissue can be done for diagnosis and treatment as well.

What happens during an Endoscopic Ultrasound

When having an endoscopy ultrasound, the endoscope is gently passed through the mouth and into the stomach and then into the duodenum while the patient is sedated. This allows your gastroenterologist to see and examine the lining of the esophagus, stomach and duodenum (the first portion of the small intestine).

  • During an upper endoscopic procedure, as the procedure gets underway, you will be lying down on a padded procedure table on your back or on your side.
  • You will receive a sedative medication. The anesthesia administered for sedation, help patients have a more comfortable procedure, which ultimately aid the physician in completing a more precise diagnosis or treatment.
  • Monitors will be attached to your body. This will allow your health care team to monitor your breathing, blood pressure and heart rate.
  • Gentle air pressure may be fed into your esophagus to inflate your digestive tract. This allows the endoscope to move more freely. And it allows your doctor to more easily examine the folds of your digestive tract.
  • Then the endoscope is inserted in your mouth. As your doctor passes the endoscope down your esophagus, a tiny camera at the tip transmits images to a video monitor in the exam room. Your doctor watches video monitors to carefully guide the endoscope as well as look for abnormalities in your upper digestive tract, and take high definition photos of key areas of interest.
  • An endoscopy typically takes 15 to 30 minutes, depending on your personal treatment and / or diagnostic requirements.
  • When your doctor has finished the exam, the endoscope is slowly retracted through the mouth and you are taken to a post-operative recovery room in order to be monitored while you recover from effects of the anesthesia.

WHAT TO EXPECT when having an endoscopy Ultrasound

First, when you arrive at our office you will be welcomed by our thoughtful staff and a dedicated team of experts that deliver personalize care. To add to your comfort level, we strive to keep the same physicians and nursing staff with the patient throughout all your appointments at the center. In this way, the staff gets to understand the patient’s concerns and conditions, and you get to know the persons taking care of you on a personal level.

Also, we strive to make your visit as hassle free as possible. We accurately schedule visits in advance, provide convenient onsite parking, and keep your waiting period to an absolute minimum. This is achieved by the fact that no emergency procedures are placed in front of your scheduled time (such as in most hospitals). Also, we do not double book patient appointments, when you are scheduled to be treated that time is assigned only to you.

When undergoing an endoscopy ultrasound, the following will apply to your endoscopic procedural visit:

  • Before any procedure our staff will meet with you to address any last-minute questions you may have.
  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight of the eve of your procedure date. Throughout the endoscopy, the doctor will be looking for any unusual growths in the digestive track, therefore, completing a thorough bowel preparation prior to the procedure is important.
  • Prior to the procedure you will get changed into one our fresh medical gowns using our private restrooms, or a private patient changing area.
  • Once you have changed into the medical gown you will relax and laydown on a padded procedure gurney and you will be transported a short distance to our modern operating room.
  • In the operating room, you will meet with your gastroenterologist before your endoscopy to discuss the procedure, if you would like, and thereafter be administered sedation so that the procedure may commence.
    • When being sedated you will receive the highest quality anesthesia, administered by highly experienced professionals who will standby you monitoring your sedation throughout the entire procedure.
  • The procedure itself will take between 15 to 30 minutes.
  • After the procedure, you will be brought back into the post anesthesia recovery area where you will relax until the sedation has worn off.
    • After speaking with most patients about their procedure, patients universally comment (paraphrasing of course); “I remember getting changed, laying on the gurney, meeting with my doctor and waking up waiting for the procedure to start”. Once they find out the procedure was completed already, there is usually a couple chuckles they have with our staff.
  • With all that being said, once you are alert from your anesthesia, fully dressed and comfortable, you will meet with your physician to discuss the procedure results, before heading home.
    • A special note, because you will be sedated for the procedure, you will need to have someone to drive you home even after the sedation has initially worn off, though you may feel fine, your reflexes may be slower than usual until the anesthesia is completely out of your system which can take between 1 to 3 hours after the procedure.
  • Also, most patients can return to a normal eating habits immediately after an endoscopic procedure.

The most important thing to remember is not to worry! Our gastroenterologist are highly experienced physicians and we have completed thousands of endoscopies, also we supply our gastroenterologist with only the best equipment to increase safety, as well as diagnostic and treatment effectiveness. Last, but certainly not least, please ask any questions you may have of your healthcare team, who will be there for you during and after your procedure, and all of whom are dedicated to ensure you receive the best care possible.

IMPORTANT HEALTH NOTE

We recommend that people experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms do not attempt self-treatment. With many medications being available over the counter, and numerous do-it-yourself online unqualified remedy recommendation, it is natural to consider treating yourself but we highly recommend against this.

If you are experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms you may have a more significant issue than you would expect from the sometimes muted or infrequent symptom you may be experiencing. It is important to keep in mind that is you are having gastrointestinal symptoms or concerns it is best see a doctor to have those symptoms diagnosed and any conditions treated. Also, it is worth noting, that if health conditions do exist, the earlier they are diagnosed and treated, the greater the probability will be to successfully eliminate or manage a present condition, in fact successful outcomes will increase significantly with early detection.

If you have gastrointestinal concerns or are experiencing any gastrointestinal symptoms, please contact us promptly to schedule a consultation with a physician.


DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general information. In no way, does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self-diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a best in class physician regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a physician or call our office today at (215) 321-4700 to schedule a consultation.