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Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)

WHAT IS ENDOSCOPIC ULTRASOUND (EUS)

Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is a cleanly invasive process to detect digestive (gastrointestinal) and lung diseases. A unique endoscope utilizes high-frequency sound waves to create comprehensive pictures of the walls of the digestive tract and chest, nearby organs such as the pancreas and liver, and lymph nodes.

When the test is combined with a procedure known as fine-needle aspiration, EUS enables the doctor to sample (biopsy) fluid and tissue from the abdomen or chest for analysis. EUS with fine-needle aspiration could be a minimally invasive alternative to exploratory surgery. EUS techniques are also used in some specific treatments, such as draining pseudocysts.

HOW ENDOSCOPIC ULTRASOUND IS DONE

Before the Test

The doctors would provide some specific instructions to the people which would assist them in their preparation for EUS. People might be asked to fast before EUS. If the EUS is done in the rectal area, people might be asked to consume a laxative or consume an enema and to follow a liquid diet before the procedure.

During the Test

During EUS, the doctors would dispatch a thin, flexible tube (endoscope) through the mouth and the digestive tract. A tiny ultrasound device (transducer) in the tube creates sound waves that generate a precise image of the surrounding tissues, including lymph nodes in the chest. The endoscope is then slowly withdrawn.

If people have fine-needle aspiration with EUS, the doctors might need to pass an additional curved device through a passage in the endoscope into the digestive tract. That device could guide a very slender needle to the lymph nodes and tumours or other deformities. The needle takes out the fluid and tissue for examination. EUS with fine-needle aspiration usually takes less than an hour to get completed.

After the Test

An expert in digestive diseases (gastroenterologist) or lung disease (pulmonologist) with appropriate training in EUS would understand the EUS images. A doctor trained in analyzing biopsies (pathologist) will detail the test results if people opt for fine-needle aspiration. The doctors would discuss any vital findings and further steps with people.

RISKS INVOLVED

EUS is usually safe when it is performed at a center with a knowledgeable and expert health care team. The doctors would discuss the risk of complications with the patients. These risks are generally linked with fine-needle aspiration.

Risks might include:

  • Loss of blood
  • Infection
  • Tearing of the intestinal wall or throat
  • Pancreatitis, if fine-needle aspiration of the pancreas is done

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

People should consult their doctors immediately if they experience any of the below-mentioned symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Black or very dark-colored stool
  • Severe or persistent abdominal pain

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