Endoscopic Ultrasound

Endoscopic Ultrasound

An endoscopic ultrasound is a procedure that is used to examine the internal structures of the digestive tract. It can detect a wide range of diseases and disorders like colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, and cancer that spreads to other body parts. An endoscopic ultrasound can also detect pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and other causes of abdominal pain.

The components of an endoscopic ultrasound include:

  • Endoscope
    A thin, long, and flexible tube with a camera and a light on the end.
  • Ultrasound
    A probe is attached at the end of the endoscope which sends out sound waves to create images of your tissues, organs, and blood vessels.

An endoscopic ultrasound procedure is used by healthcare providers to diagnose:

  • The spread of different types of cancers.
  • Chest or abdominal pain.
  • Lesions, lumps, or growths seen on previous imaging scans like MRIs and CT scans.
  • Problems of the digestive tract like colon cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and anal fissures.
  • Diseases of the gallbladder like cholecystitis and gallstones.
  • Lung diseases, including lung cancers.
  • Pancreatic diseases like pancreatic cysts, pancreatic cancer, and pancreatitis.
  • Disorders of swallowing such as Barrett’s oesophagus.

Endoscopic ultrasound is further of two types - upper endoscopy and lower endoscopy. An upper endoscopy procedure is one that involves examination of the upper part of the digestive tract, including:

  • Blood vessels, lymph nodes, tumours, and cysts.
  • Lining of the stomach, oesophagus, and small intestine.
  • Surrounding organs like gallbladder, pancreas, and bile ducts.

A lower endoscopy is used to examine the lower part of the digestive tract, including:

  • Lymph nodes, blood vessels, tumours, and cysts.
  • Anal sphincter.
  • Large intestine lining.

Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration procedure may be performed by your healthcare provider. During this procedure, your doctor employs endoscopic ultrasound to guide a needle biopsy so that a small sample of tissue or fluid can be removed. The sample is sent to a laboratory where a pathologist or a lab specialist examines it for signs of disease, like malignant or abnormal cells.

Before an endoscopic ultrasound procedure, your doctor will let you know what you should and shouldn’t do before an endoscopic ultrasound test. Generally, he may:

  • Adjust your medication doses such as those of blood thinners and insulin.
  • Ask you not to drink or eat for a period of time prior to the test.
  • Use a prescription bowel prep so that your bowels can be cleaned.
  • Ask you to hold some medications that are not suitable to be taken before the test.

An upper endoscopic ultrasound test is an outpatient procedure and you will be going home on the same day. As you are given a sedative for the procedure, someone has to drive you home and stay with you for the rest of the day. An upper endoscopy ultrasound procedure takes around sixty minutes.

You lie on the left side during an upper endoscopic ultrasound procedure. A healthcare provider:

  • Sprays your throat with numbing medicine.
  • Supply you with an IV sedative so that you can relax.
  • Place a plastic mouthguard in your mouth so that your teeth are protected from biting down on the endoscope.
  • Introduces the ultrasound endoscope via your mouth, oesophagus and stomach until it reaches the uppermost part of the intestine called the duodenum. You shouldn’t feel any pain and will be able to breathe normally.
  • Examine the ultrasound images on a monitor so that your upper digestive tract with the nearby organs, tumours, and cysts can be examined.

If required, the doctor uses the ultrasound pictures to thread a narrow needle via the endoscope so that a sample of tissue or fluid can be collected.

Then he removes the endoscope gently and stops the anaesthesia. You will wake up in a recovery room slowly.

Just like an upper endoscopic ultrasound test, a lower endoscopic ultrasound test is an outpatient procedure and you might be allowed to go home the same day. You will need someone to drive you home and observe you throughout the day. The procedure takes around an hour. During lower endoscopic ultrasound procedures, fine needle aspirations rarely take place.

During the lower endoscopic ultrasound procedure, you are asked to lie on your left side. Then, a healthcare provider:

  • Will give you an intravenous sedative so that you can relax.
  • Introduces an ultrasound endoscope via the rectum or anus into the colon or the large intestine. You will not feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure and will be able to breathe normally.
  • Then, the healthcare provider will look at the ultrasound images on a monitor so that your lower digestive tract including the nearby organs can be monitored.
  • Then, he gently removes the endoscope and stops the anaesthesia so that you can wake up slowly.

The effects of the sedative generally wear off within half an hour to one hour. You may experience:

  • Bloating, gas or cramping after a lower endoscopic ultrasound.
  • Sore throat after an upper endoscopic ultrasound.

These symptoms are usually relieved within 24 hours of the test and you will be able to take it easy for the rest of the day and resume your normal activities of daily life the next day.

An endoscopic ultrasound is a relatively safe procedure. Following are some of its potential complications:

  • Damage to the digestive tract or bleeding.
  • Allergic reaction to anaesthesia.
  • Lung aspiration.
  • Tear (perforation) in the intestinal wall.
  • Pancreatitis.

Your endoscopic ultrasound report will be reviewed by your healthcare provider. Getting the biopsy results back from the laboratory will take a few weeks.

You must call your healthcare provider if you experience:

  • Pain or difficulty when having a bowel movement.
  • Blood in stool.
  • Fever or other signs of infection.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Persistent, severe chest pain or abdominal pain.
  • Shortness of breath.

An endoscopic ultrasound is a safe procedure that allows healthcare providers to examine the internal structures of the digestive tract, including the presence of cancers and their spread. You may also be suggested to undergo a needle biopsy during an endoscopic ultrasound procedure so that the tissues and fluids of your body can be examined for abnormal cells.

Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Indore, is one of the top multi-speciality hospitals in Indore. Our hospital is recognised as a premier healthcare centre in Indore, and we house a highly experienced and qualified team of medical professionals. We have the best gastroenterology doctors who are known for their optimum treatment and management services.

Our state-of-the-art healthcare facilities and latest equipment help our medical professionals deliver the best possible patient care. The diagnostic centre at our hospital is fully equipped, and we provide 24*7 ambulance and ICU services for all critically ill patients. Our Gastroenterology specialists deliver optimum treatment plans at affordable costs, along with a patient-centred approach.

Our Department of Gastroenterology strives to offer ultimate primary healthcare by providing comprehensive clinical services. Visit our centre for the best endoscopic ultrasound procedure in Indore.