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Endoscopic Ultrasound

Doctor performing endoscopic ultrasound

The Rex Ultrasound department is accredited by the American College of Radiology in abdomen, obstetrics and breast ultrasounds, and our staff is accredited by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS). Specialized staff assist expert physicians in the endoscopy suite which is conveniently located at Rex Hospital in Raleigh.

Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is a highly specialized technique that is performed by a gastroenterologist with specialized training. During the procedure the physician uses a special endoscope with an ultrasound machine at the tip.

Using the EUS "scope," an ultrasound probe is placed in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, very close to the area of interest, so that the best possible picture can be obtained.

EUS has been shown to be superior to routine X-rays such as abdominal ultrasound, barium studies, CAT scans and even MRI scans for looking at GI cancers and for evaluating lesions in the GI tract that are below the surface.

Your physician will recommend this procedure as needed and will need to provide a valid written physician order that states the procedure to be performed with a valid diagnosis. To schedule, please call (919) 784-3419.

Endoscopic Ultrasound FAQs

When doctors need a closer look at something going on in or near your digestive tract, they may recommend a test called endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS). Here are answers to some questions you may have about the test.

Q: What is EUS?
A: EUS is an imaging test in which a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope is inserted into the body to examine the digestive tract or the organs near it. On the tip of the scope is a probe that emits sound waves. The waves are measured and recorded as they bounce off organs and tissues. This creates a detailed image.

For examinations of the upper digestive tract-the esophagus, stomach and first part of the small intestine-the endoscope is passed through the mouth. Examinations of the lower digestive tract-the colon and rectum-are performed through the rectum.

Q: Why is EUS done?
A: EUS may be recommended if you have certain symptoms, such as stomach pain or unusual weight loss, or if another imaging test found a lump or lesion requiring further investigation. Sometimes, in people with cancer, the test helps assess how far the disease has spread.

Q: How do I prepare?
A: Preparation depends on the test you're having. Fasting is required for exams of the upper digestive tract. If your lower digestive tract will be examined, you may need to follow a clear liquid diet and take steps to cleanse your colon. Your doctor will give you specific instructions.

Q: What occurs during the test?
A: Generally, you're given an IV sedative to help you relax, and you're asked to lie on your side. Most people report only slight discomfort, and they often don't recall the procedure-which usually takes less than an hour.

Q: What happens after the test is over?
A: If you're sedated, you'll be monitored until the medication wears off. But you'll need someone to drive you home and stay with you. Often, the doctor will give you the results of your test before you leave.

Sources: American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy; Radiological Society of North America.