Endoscopic ultrasound is a minimally-invasive procedure a specially-trained gastroenterologist may use to obtain high-quality images of the internal organs inside your body (chest and abdomen). During EUS, a small ultrasound transducer embedded in a long, flexible tube called an endoscope is inserted into the upper digestive tract via the mouth or lower digestive tract via the anus. Unlike traditional ultrasound where sound waves are sent to the organ and back using a transducer positioned outside the body, endoscopic ultrasound allows the transducer to get close to the organs inside the body, thereby providing more detailed and accurate images.
Endoscopic ultrasound is used to examine the organs of the digestive tract and the surrounding tissue and organs. Information about the layers of the intestinal wall and adjacent areas including lymph nodes and blood vessels can also be obtained using EUS.
During the procedure, a tissue sample of suspicious tumors or enlarged lymph nodes may be obtained under EUS guidance so that they may be examined under a microscope by a pathologist. This is called a fine needle aspiration (FNA), and is an alternative to exploratory surgery or other invasive testing.