Endoscopic Ultrasound Specialist

Gastrointestinal Medicine Associates

Gastroenterologists located in Fairfax, VA & Reston, VA

When you have symptoms that suggest a problem in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract or one of the nearby organs, there’s a good chance you will need an endoscopic ultrasound. The board-certified doctors at Gastrointestinal Medicine Associates produce high-quality images with endoscopic ultrasounds. This allows them to see details that don’t show on other types of imaging, so they can diagnose diseases and grade cancer tumors. Call one of the offices in Fairfax or Reston, Virginia, to learn more about endoscopic ultrasound or to schedule an appointment.

Endoscopic Ultrasound Q&A

What is an endoscopic ultrasound?

At Gastrointestinal Medicine Associates, Soloman Shah, MD, performs endoscopic ultrasounds (EUS) to produce detailed images of your GI tract and the nearby organs.

The endoscope is a slim, flexible tube that holds an ultrasound probe. The probe sends out painless high-frequency sound waves. As the waves bounce off structures and return to the probe, the probe transmits the information to a computer that produces the images.

What structures are examined during an endoscopic ultrasound?

Dr. Shah performs two procedures:

Upper EUS

Dr. Shah does this procedure to examine your upper GI tract, which includes your esophagus, stomach, and the upper part of your small intestine (the duodenum). During an upper EUS, he can also get great images of your pancreas, gallbladder, and lungs.

Lower EUS

The lower EUS produces images of your rectum and colon (large intestine). 

When might I need an endoscopic ultrasound?

Endoscopic ultrasounds diagnose the cause of symptoms such as nausea, abdominal pain, and unexplained weight loss. Dr. Shah may also recommend an EUS to assess the extent of an existing disease or to verify the results of other diagnostic tests.

The conditions often diagnosed during an EUS include:

  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • Pancreatitis
  • Pancreatic cysts
  • Bile duct and pancreatic duct stones
  • Lymphoma
  • Neuroendocrine tumors
  • Liver masses
  • Cancer

Dr. Shah performs an EUS to diagnose cancers of the esophagus, pancreas, lungs, stomach, colon, and rectum. The details obtained with an EUS allow him to precisely grade cancerous tumors, identifying the tumor’s size and if the cancer has spread.

What happens during an endoscopic ultrasound?

You will need to fast before an upper EUS or cleanse your colon for a lower EUS. The team at Gastrointestinal Medicine Associates gives you the preparation information before your procedure.

Upper EUS

After you receive a sedative, Dr. Shah sprays a local anesthetic in your throat. Then he inserts the scope through your mouth and guides it down your esophagus, through your stomach, and into the small intestine. Depending on the images he needs, he stops the scope along the way to direct the sound waves toward a specific area.

Lower EUS

You may also receive a sedative for a lower EUS, but this procedure doesn’t require other anesthetic medications. Dr. Shah inserts the scope through your anus and advances it through the rectum and colon, stopping as needed to get specific images.

If you have questions about endoscopic ultrasound or you need to schedule a procedure, call Gastrointestinal Medicine Associates today.