Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) in Louisiana
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What is an endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)?
An endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) may be performed to evaluate abnormalities in the wall of the intestine, or abnormalities in other organs such as the pancreas, biliary system, and chest. The EUS is often used to help stage cancer. If you have been experiencing troubling symptoms related to your GI tract, this procedure could help diagnose and begin treatment for your condition. Contact GI Alliance to learn more about this and other endoscopic procedures.
An endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is an endoscopic procedure where a scope (thin, long, flexible tube) gets placed through the mouth and advanced into the small intestine or rectum. Our GI physicians can evaluate the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and first portion of the small intestine because the scope has a light and a camera on the end of it.
An ultrasound probe is also on the EUS scope to examine the GI tract using ultrasound waves. Using an ultrasound allows our team to look at the various layers of the intestinal wall and other organs in the body. Endoscopic ultrasounds can assess abnormalities in the pancreas, biliary system, chest, and the walls of the intestine. It is common for EUS to be used to stage cancer. If you’ve had GI tract symptoms causing you to worry, an EUS procedure may help. Contact our team at GastroGroup & Endocenter to request an appointment to get started.
Why would I need an EUS?
Your physician may use an endoscopic ultrasound for a variety of issues. Some of them include:
- Study of tumors or abnormalities in organs like the gallbladder and liver
- Study of nodules in the intestinal wall
- Evaluation of stages of cancer
- Evaluation of disorders of the pancreas
- Study of the muscles of the lower rectum and anal canal to discover causes of fecal incontinence
- Assessment of Barrett’s esophagus
- Evaluation of bile duct stones
- Evaluation of sarcoidosis
What should I expect the day before my endoscopic ultrasound?
Necessary preparation instructions will be provided by our GI doctors. You will be asked to not eat or drink after midnight (excluding medications). You can generally take your medications as usual, except for patients on blood thinners (i.e. coumadin, warfarin, plavix, aspirin, anti-inflammatories), or patients who are diabetic. Special instructions will be provided in those cases.
What happens on the day of my endoscopic ultrasound?
You should arrive at the endoscopy center 1 to 1.5 hours before your exam to fill out paperwork and prepare for the exam. As part of the preparation, you’ll change into a medical gown and an IV will be started in your arm so sedation can be administered. You’ll also get connected to equipment to monitor your blood pressure, heart rate, pulse, oxygen level, and breathing.
When everything is ready, you’ll lie on your left side on the exam table and the sedation will be started. Sedation is administered in small doses to make sure you don’t have reactions and to ensure you have exactly as much as needed. The endoscope is gently placed into the mouth and advanced through to the stomach, esophagus, and portion of the small intestine.
To help the physician see, a small amount of air gets injected into the scope to enter the GI tract. If any remaining fluid is present, it’s suctioned out of the upper GI tract through the scope at the end of the procedure. Multiple procedures can be performed during the ultrasound depending on the findings. This can include removing polyps, biopsies, the controlling bleeding. The exam will take around 30-60 minutes depending on the results.
Once the exam’s completed, the sedation will start to wear off and you’ll be put in the recovery room to be monitored. The response to the sedation and the amount used will determine how quickly you’ll wake up. Most patients can be discharged within 45-60 minutes. For the remainder of the day, you shouldn’t drive, sign important papers, work, or participate in strenuous activities. Arranging for a ride home is ideal. While you’ll be able to eat and drink as normal, you will get instructions on medications and activities before being discharged.
When the exam’s completed, your GI doctor or nurse will go over the results with you. The effects of sedation make it hard for most patients to remember what they’re told. It’s recommended that you bring a trusted family or friend with you so results can also be discussed with them. You’ll also return home with a typed report and be told of any biopsy results within seven days.
What are the risks of an endoscopic ultrasound?
Endoscopic procedures are generally safe procedures, with complications occurring in less than 1% of individuals. When complications arise they typically aren’t life-threatening. When a complication does occur, you might need surgery or hospitalization. Before the exam starts, you’ll sign a consent form that’s reviewed with you by the nursing staff. If you have any questions or concerns, please discuss them with the GI doctor before the procedure begins.
Sedation reactions may also occur including difficulty breathing, allergic reactions, impacts on the heart and blood pressure, and vein irritation where the medication is administered. With fine needle aspiration and biopsies, bleeding might occur. Any considerable bleeding could demand a blood transfusion or hospitalization, but is infrequent.
Perforations or punctures of the stomach, small intestine, or esophagus may also happen. It can be spotted during the exam, or be visible later in the day. A perforation generally requires surgery and hospitalization. However, this issue is uncommon.
If you notice symptoms like abdominal pain, bleeding, or fever, it’s important that you contact our office immediately. An endoscopic ultrasound procedure isn’t perfect and there’s a small chance that abnormalities (including cancer) may be missed during the exam. Follow-up appointments with our GI team are important. You should inform them of any new or persistent symptoms that occur.
What are alternatives to an endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)?
Any alternatives to the exam are dependent on why an endoscopic ultrasound was needed. There are many cases where an endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is the ideal method to evaluate and treat abnormalities. Diagnostic exams like MRIs, CT scans, and transabdominal ultrasounds can also examine the GI tract.
Advanced endoscopic ultrasounds
An endoscopic ultrasound may be advised to assess various diseases and conditions of the GI tract by our gastroenterologist. At GastoGroup & Endocenter, we utilize the latest technology to assist you and provide treatment for GI disorders and diseases. If you or a family member requires an ultrasound or diagnostic procedure, contact one of our Louisiana locations to request an appointment.
Dr. Jenkins accommodated me quickly in his schedule after I had an emergency room visit. He also expedited the appointment for my endoscopy. I couldn’t ask for more! Great job!
Excellent and professional in all areas
It is always a pleasurable experience at Dr Albright’s office and I recommend him to all.
Dr Albright has been my gastroenterologist for 20 years and is a true, caring professional