An endoscopic ultrasound, or EUS, is a minimally invasive procedure that can be used to diagnose a wide range of gastrointestinal conditions, both cancerous and noncancerous. During this procedure, a small tube (endoscope) is inserted through the mouth or rectum, depending on the part of the digestive tract that is being analyzed. The endoscope then generates sound waves that travel throughout the patient's body. These sound waves bounce off the body’s internal structures and are recaptured by the endoscope, which in turn converts the sound waves into images that are viewable by a gastroenterologist in real time. These images can provide more detailed information about the presence and origin of suspicious tissues than other diagnostic tests, such as traditional endoscopies.
An endoscopic ultrasound typically take less than an hour to complete. No incisions are necessary, and patients are not exposed to any ionizing radiation. If needed, a gastroenterologist can also obtain a tissue sample during an EUS and then send the sample to a lab for further examination.
At Moffitt Cancer Center, we use endoscopic ultrasound testing to help investigate and diagnose a wide range of conditions, including:
- Pancreatic cancer
- Blockage of a bile duct
- Barrett's esophagus
- Esophageal cancer
- Precancerous polyps
- Colorectal cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Benign tumors in the gastrointestinal tract
Additionally, once a patient has been diagnosed, certain therapies can be administered with the assistance of an endoscopic ultrasound. For instance, an EUS may be used to deliver medication to nerve tissues in the upper abdomen that are painfully compressed by a pancreatic tumor. Alternatively, an endoscopic ultrasound might be used to assist with gallstone extraction.
At Moffitt, endoscopic ultrasounds – both diagnostic and therapeutic – are administered by experienced physicians who specialize exclusively in the treatment of esophageal, pancreatic, gastric and colorectal conditions. This high level of specialization allows us to analyze and address complex conditions with extensive clinical skill, resulting in individualized recommendations for each patient.