Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is an innovative technology that combines endoscopy and ultrasound to study detailed images of the body’s internal organs, allowing specially trained physicians to view the entire gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestine and rectum. With the addition of Williamson Medical Center’s (WMC) newest gastroenterologist, Eric Sumner, M.D., who specializes in EUS, the health system is now offering this state-of-the-art technology to more accurately diagnose a wide variety of gastrointestinal disorders.
With endoscopic ultrasound, the camera on the endoscope is equipped with an ultrasound probe allowing the physician to photograph areas using high-frequency 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.
“Imagine an ultrasound on a mother looking at her baby,” explains Dr. Sumner. “That’s how EUS works. By using sound waves, we are able to get a detailed look at a problem inside the body and even biopsy abnormalities when needed.”
Sumner uses the minimally invasive procedure to provide 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.
As mentioned, 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 medicine.
EUS is largely used for the staging of cancers in the gastrointestinal system. In one procedure, Sumner can assess how deeply a tumor is penetrating an organ, determine the stage and spread of cancer or produce information to guide treatment.
“Any medical procedure can be an anxiety-provoking situation,” said Dr. Sumner. “With EUS, the patient is asleep and multiple processes can be completed at one time. We’re now able to perform this outpatient procedure in-house at WMC without our patients having to drive out of the area.”
Sumner joined Williamson Medical Group (WMG) in September in an expansion of the gastroenterology department and is now accepting new patients at the WMG GI practice in Franklin. In addition to EUS, Sumner also performs screening and diagnostic colonoscopies as well as other specialized procedures.
“EUS has become one of the most accurate imaging procedures supporting the comprehensive evaluation and diagnosis of GI tumors,” said Dr. Sumner. “I’m very much looking forward to enhancing WMG’s GI and cancer services by offering this new technology in-house at WMC for the first time.”
To learn more about GI capabilities at Williamson Medical Center, or to schedule an appointment with a GI provider, visit WilliamsonMedicalCenter.org/GI or call (615) 435-7979.Share this Article