Endoscopic ultrasound is commonly known as EUC. It is a medical procedure which is a combination of endoscopy and ultrasound in order to obtain images to get a clear view of the lining of the gut, all the other areas of the digestive tract and also the surrounding tissues and organs. It is a minimally invasive procedure useful for the people suffering from gastrointestinal disease, pancreatic disorder, lung diseases etc.
Endoscopic ultrasound is a type of endoscopic examination which involved the use of a long thin tube which is inserted into the stomach through the mouth of the patient. The long flexible tube has a camera at one end and an ultrasound probe at the end of the tube. EUC uses high frequency sound waves to produce images of the affected part of the intestine or respiratory tract. When EUC is combined with fine needle aspiration procedure, it may be easy for the doctor to collect a biopsy from the affected region of the body to examine the tissue under a microscope.
USES OF ENDOSCOPIC ULTRASOUND
An endoscopic ultrasound is performed to find the symptoms such as pain in the abdomen and chest, abdominal cramps etc to determine the condition of the patient suffering from gastrointestinal and respiratory problems.
Endoscopic ultrasound may help in the evaluation of the following:
- Cancer of various organs in the body such as colon, esophagus, rectum, lung, pancreas and stomach
- Bile duct stones
- Fecal incontinence
- Cysts in the pancreas
- Rectal fistula
Endoscopic ultrasound also helps in:
- Assessing the depth of the tumor in various conditions such as gastric cancer, lung, abdomen, gastric and rectal cancers
- Determining the stage of the cancer
- Determining the spread of cancer to other parts of the body
- Checking for the presence of abnormal growth through imaging tests
- Guiding the elimination and collection of fluid in the abdomen
- Targeting the medicine into the target organs such as pancreas, liver and other organs
- Detecting bile duct stones
Endoscopic ultrasound is usually a safe procedure, however, the doctor may discuss about the risks involved in performing the procedure.
- There is a risk of developing infection
- The person may bleed when fine needle aspiration is done
- The wall of the intestine or throat may tear
- The pancreas may get inflamed if fine needle aspiration is performed in the pancreas
The following are the signs and symptoms after undergoing EUC:
- Pain in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Dark colored stool
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Severe abdominal pain
A patient suffering from any of the above mentioned signs and symptoms should immediately inform the doctor.
PRECAUTIONS TO BE TAKEN
The patient is advised to follow the below mentioned precautions:
- A list of all the prescribed medications and a set of all relevant x-rays if any should be taken.
- Consumption of alcohol should be stopped 24 hours before the procedure.
- Ensure arrangements are made to drive the patient home after the procedure.
- Inform the doctor about the medications taken such as Aspirin, Clopidogrel, Warfarin etc.
- Diabetic and blood pressure patients carry their medications along with them.
Getting ready for the procedure
- The patient is advised to wear loose fitting and comfortable clothes.
- All the valuables should be left at home.
- The doctor will provide the patient with all the required details of the procedure.
- The patient will be given sedative to relax and to put the patient to sleep. General or local anesthesia will be given.
During the procedure
- The thin long flexible tube is inserted into the stomach through the mouth to observe the changes or abnormalities in the upper abdomen.
- The procedure is performed under general or local anesthesia.
- EUC along with fine needle aspiration is performed to get a small sample of the tissue to examine it under the microscope to check for the abnormalities in the affected area.
- The procedure takes about 20 minutes to complete.
After the procedure
- The patient will be allowed to follow a regular diet right after the procedure.
- The doctor will inform in case the patient has to follow any preventive measures.
- The samples taken as biopsy will be sent to the laboratory for results.
- The patient will be advised not to drink or smoke after the procedure.
- In case the patient experiences any of the symptoms such as fever, pain in the chest, pain in the abdomen, bleeding etc, should be immediately informed to the doctor.