Physicians have been using endoscopy and ultrasound separately to obtain images of organs and structures inside the body for many years. Thanks to a new tool previously only available in the metropolitan area at Georgetown University Hospital that combines both technologies, physicians at FMH now have access to a new array of detailed and accurate diagnostic images.
This new imaging tool, called Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS), uses a thin, flexible tube to which a small ultrasound device is attached to examine the lining and walls of the upper and lower gastrointestinal tracts, and nearby organs such as the pancreas, liver and gallbladder.
According to fellowship-trained gastroenterologist Dr. Gordon Liss, EUS can obtain information about the layers of the intestinal wall as well as adjacent areas such as lymph nodes and the blood vessels. When combined with fine needle aspiration, EUS is a minimally invasive, state-of-the-art alternative to exploratory surgery to remove tissue samples from abdominal and other organs.
Endoscopic Ultrasound images provide physicians with information about the size, shape and appearance of lesions, tumors and surrounding lymph nodes that is extremely helpful in the staging of certain cancers," says Dr. Liss, "as well as the overall diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the GI tract and surrounding organs."