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Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is an investigation that combines two types of tests, endoscopy and ultrasound, to create images of the digestive tract and its surrounding organs and tissues. This type of imaging provides a 360 degree, cross-sectional view of the gastro-intestinal tract. Because the ultrasound probe gets close to the area being investigated, the images are of higher quality and offer detailed information. When combined with a procedure called fine-needle aspiration/biopsy, EUS allows your doctor to sample (biopsy) fluid and tissue deeper structures than a standard endoscope. The procedure is very similar to standard endoscopy and lasts for approximately 20-45 minutes.
EUS in combination with biopsy can be a valuable investigation for the following reasons:
Diagnosing cancers in the gastrointestinal tract
Assessment of abnormal lesions adjacent to the gastrointestinal tract (lymph nodes, cysts, tumours, etc)
Staging of gastrointestinal cancers
To evaluate the size and local penetration of cancers
To check whether cancer may have spread to lymph nodes or other adjacent organs