You may need an endoscopic ultrasound to assess gastrointestinal symptoms and diseases, such as some cancers and esophageal conditions. At Digestive Disease Consultants of Orange County, the expert gastroenterologists at offices in Irvine, Huntington Beach, Tustin, and Foothill Ranch, California, have experience performing this minimally invasive procedure. To learn more about endoscopic ultrasound, call one of the offices to schedule a consultation or book it online.
If you have pain in your chest or abdomen, an endoscopic ultrasound may be ordered along with other screening tests to determine the cause. The ultrasound can also measure the extent of disease when it comes to:
The test can assess how deeply a tumor penetrates your organs and the extent of any present cancer and its spread. The endoscopic ultrasound also helps the doctors get a better view of abnormalities that appear on imaging tests.
The endoscopic ultrasound can also be used to guide the drainage of cysts and the delivery of medication.
An endoscopic ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the insides of your digestive tract and chest. It also allows the doctors to see nearby organs, including the liver, pancreas, and lymph nodes.
You’re given a mild sedative to help you relax for the ultrasound. During the procedure, the doctor slides an endoscope through your mouth and threads it through your digestive tract. This endoscope is a thin, flexible tube with a small ultrasound wand affixed to it.
As the sound waves bounce off your tissues, they communicate back to a computer monitor that uses them to form an image of your internal workings.
Sometimes a fine-needle aspiration is included as part of the endoscopic ultrasound. If this procedure is included, you’ll have a second device passed through the endoscope into your digestive tract. The doctor then uses a super-thin needle to remove a small amount of fluid or tissue for further analysis.
The entire procedure takes about an hour. Prior to your appointment, you need to fast for at least six hours and stop taking certain medications, such as blood thinners. The team at Digestive Disease Consultants of Orange County gives you thorough pre-procedure instructions.
Because you will be sedated for the procedure, you need to arrange for someone to drive you home after the ultrasound. You may choose to rest for the remainder of the day following your procedure. Side effects or complications due to the procedure are rare.
For more information about an endoscopic ultrasound, call Digestive Disease Consultants of Orange County or schedule an appointment online.