Dedicated to providing highly specialized, extensive and compassionate endoscopic ultrasound treatments, the Center for Digestive Disease at MedStar Franklin Square staffs nationally recognized gastroenterology physicians who evaluate stages of digestive cancers, pancreatitis or other pancreas disorders and study gastrointestinal abnormalities and tumors.
What is an Endoscopic Ultrasound?
An endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is a gastroenterology procedure that allows physicians at MedStar Franklin Square to obtain information about the digestive tract in addition to the surrounding tissue and organs. This information can then be used in the diagnosis and treatment of complex digestive cancers.
About the Endoscopic Ultrasound Procedure
During the procedure, a MedStar gastroenterologist inserts an endoscope, a small flexible tube with a light and camera attached, into the upper or lower digestive tract. This endoscopy procedure allows the physician to obtain high-quality ultrasound images of organs and the surrounding tissue. Compared to traditional ultrasound techniques, which obtain images from outside the body, an endoscopic ultrasound provides more accurate and detailed images from inside. This is due to the fact that this endoscopy procedure gets much closer to the organs and tissues being examined.
Before the gastroenterology procedure, the patient undergoing the endoscopic ultrasound will be sedated. Once sedation is complete, a MedStar gastroenterologist will insert the endoscope into the patient’s mouth or rectum. The gastroenterologist will then inspect the upper or lower digestive tract disorder on a television in addition to the ultrasound image. An endoscopic ultrasound procedure usually lasts from 30 to 90 minutes, and the patient is normally able to go home the same day of the endoscopy procedure.
Types of Endoscopic Services
- Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
- Enteroscopy (Small Bowel Endoscopy)
- Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) and Fine Needle Aspiration
- Interventional Endoscopic Ultrasound
- Wireless Capsule Endoscopy (Pill Camera)
- Endoscopic Techniques for Treating Gastrointestinal Cancers
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)
ERCP is a highly specialized technique that combines endoscopy with contrast dye to examine the pancreas, liver, gallbladder, and the network of ducts that carry digestive fluids.
In addition to its diagnostic importance, ERCP also can be used to treat certain conditions immediately. These treatments, however, require the experience of experts as ERCP is a highly specialized. During an ERCP, if a blockage is found in any of the ducts, your physician may be able to use one of the following tools to remove or relieve the obstruction:
- Sphincterotomy, in which your physician cuts the muscle sphincter of the bile or pancreatic duct to remove gallstones.
- Duct dilation and stenting, in which your physician uses a balloon catheter to stretch a narrowed opening. MedStar Health experts use endoscopes to place stents in the esophagus, duodenum, and colon that help by propping open areas blocked by tumors or other obstructions.
- Cholangioscopy, in which a small scope is used to examine the bile duct and pancreatic duct and deliver treatments under endoscopic control.
- Biliary lithotripsy, which allows your doctor to destroy gallstones trapped in your bile ducts.
Enteroscopy (Small Bowel Endoscopy)
The small intestine is roughly 25 feet long. To examine it requires specialized techniques and long instruments known as enteroscopes. An enteroscopy allows the visualization of the entire length of the small intestine using balloon and double balloon technology, which can allow your physician to identify the cause of unexplained gastrointestinal bleeding, small bowel tumors, and other possible conditions.
Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) and Fine Needle Aspiration
EUS combines endoscopy and ultrasound, which uses sound waves to generate an image on a monitor. A tiny ultrasound transducer is mounted on the tip of the endoscope, allowing the physician to obtain high-quality ultrasound images from inside the body. Our extensive expertise in endoscopic ultrasound can be used to:
- Detect, biopsy, and stage tumors anywhere in the GI tract
- Assess esophageal, gastric, pancreatic, and rectal cancers
- Detect common bile duct stones
Additionally, under ultrasound guidance, a fine needle can be passed down the endoscope into an enlarged lymph node or suspicious mass. The needle removes tissue from these sites, which a pathologist can evaluate for diagnosis.
Interventional Endoscopic Ultrasound
Interventional endoscopic ultrasound is used to treat pancreatic disease in various ways, including:
- Cyst drainage
- Placement of fiducials (small metal guides placed in and around tumors for radiation therapy)
Wireless Capsule Endoscopy (Pill Camera)
The patient swallows a vitamin-sized capsule that contains a camera, a light, batteries, and a transmitter. The capsule passes through the small intestine via the same muscle contractions that carry food, snapping two photos per second and transmitting them to a pager-sized receiver worn around the waist.
This new technology at MedStar allows physicians to see the entire length of the GI tract that cannot be visualized using the traditional endoscopic approach.
Learn more about a video capsule endoscopy in the educational video below:
Endoscopic techniques for treating gastrointestinal cancers
- Argon Plasma Coagulation (APC) is an advanced approach that uses an endoscope to deliver a burst of heat to a lesion. It can treat tumors in the stomach, esophagus or intestine and is a faster, simpler alternative to other laser treatments.
- Endoscopic Mucosal Resection is used to treat and remove pre-cancer lesions or early cancer in the gastrointestinal tract.
Learn more about gastroenterology services provided by the Center for Digestive Disease at MedStar Franklin Square:
- RFA ablation for Barrett’s esophagus
- Cryotherapy for certain instances of Barrett's esophagus and tumors of the upper GI tract
- Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) to remove cancerous or other abnormal tissue from the digestive tract
- Colonoscopy screenings for polyps and cancers of the digestive tract
- Placement of esophageal stents for esophageal cancer patients
- Minimally invasive colon and rectal surgery for malignant and benign disease
- Video capsule endoscopy and treatment following diagnosis
- Endoscopic esophageal pH test
- Advanced robotic colon and rectal surgery
- Sphincter-preserving procedure for rectal cancer
- Surgical treatment of inflammatory bowel disease
- Treatment of complex anal and rectal fistulas
- Evaluation and treatment for patients with any type of liver disease, liver or biliary tumors, or patients in need of a transplant
For a physician referral, please call 855-546-0794.
MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
9000 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237
Recognized by U.S.News and World Report as high performing in gastroenterology and GI surgery in 2014-15