Gastroenterology and Hepatology Services at Baylor College of Medicine use advanced technologies such as endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) to better detect, diagnose, and treat digestive tract and liver diseases, improving patient outcomes and survival rates. Equally important, our endoscopic specialists have the experience and expertise required to perform these advanced procedures.
What is EUS?
EUS is a minimally invasive technique that combines endoscopy and ultrasound to obtain images and information about the lining and walls of the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract and nearby organs. With EUS, a thin flexible tube (endoscope) is passed through a patient's mouth or rectum. A small ultrasound transducer at the tip of the endoscope sends out high-frequency sound waves, producing a high-quality, detailed ultrasound image of the targeted area for assessment.
EUS is also used to guide a special needle into targeted areas, such as suspicious tumors, to obtain tissue samples (biopsies) - a process known as fine needle aspiration - offering a state-of-the-art alternative to exploratory surgery.
Endoscopic ultrasound may be used to:
- Accurately identify the stages of gastrointestinal cancers, a critical factor in determining proper treatment methods for digestive diseases such as esophageal cancer
- Determine the penetration and spread of cancer to adjacent tissues and lymph nodes
- Evaluate Crohn's disease involvement in the anus and rectum, such as fistulas or abscesses
- Diagnose diseases of the internal organs, such as chronic pancreatitis or cysts of the pancreas
- Detect bile duct abnormalities, including stones in the bile duct or gallbladder, or tumors in the bile duct, gallbladder or liver
- Assess masses (submucosal lesions) that may be hiding in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract
- Study the muscles of the lower rectum and anal canal in evaluating reasons for fecal incontinence