Franciscan Health uses minimally invasive endoscopic ultrasound for more efficient diagnoses of gastrointestinal conditions, including esophageal, rectal and pancreatic cancers.
Advanced Diagnostic Tool: Endoscopic Ultrasound
Endoscopic ultrasound, an outpatient gastrointestinal procedure available at Franciscan Health, helps diagnose and care for cancers of the esophagus, rectum and pancreas. Endoscopic ultrasound is easier on patients than other more invasive options and offers physicians the best available diagnostic tool.
Endoscopic ultrasound versus standard ultrasound
With endoscopic ultrasound, a scope attached to the end of a probe allows the physician to photograph areas using sound waves. The device takes pictures in parts of the body that can’t be done with regular ultrasound and gets samples of the area being examined through a needle that passes through the scope.
The technology provides a real-time view to study the upper and lower digestive and respiratory tracts to stage lung, esophageal, pancreatic, bile duct, rectal and gastric cancer, as well as to check tumors of the upper gastrointestinal tract and to locate gall stone disease. The device also allows physicians to take biopsies (with a needle) without having to perform surgery, as was the case in the past. It also can be used to destroy certain pancreatic cysts and prevent possible cancer growth, through the injection of alcohol and other medicine.
How results are used
Endoscopic ultrasound adds more specific imaging to structures being examined than a CT scan and is done without incisions. The results determine whether a patient needs surgery, or what the next treatment step should be. It is a follow-up procedure to regular endoscopes, colonoscopies and ultrasounds. It allows for faster treatment time and can be managed on an outpatient basis.