Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) allows highly detailed examination of each of the 5 layers that line the walls of the intestinal tract. This special capability is very important in determining the depth of esophageal, stomach, rectal, and pancreatic cancer invasion prior to surgery and chemotherapy. EUS is also invaluable for evaluating abnormal "bumps" growing from underneath the first layer of the intestinal wall lining. It also allows visualization and minimally invasive biopsy of internal organs such as the pancreas, bile duct, gallbladder, liver, spleen, lymph nodes, and lesions in the chest cavity. The high resolution of EUS enables detection of small lesions less than 1cm in size such as early cancers, lymph nodes, and bile duct stones that may be missed or difficult to see by CT, MRI, and PET scans. EUS is usually performed with light sedation called moderate sedation
Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is a specialized endoscopic procedure used to study the bile ducts, pancreatic duct and gallbladder. The bile ducts are channels, analogous to plumbing, that drain bile from the liver and gallbladder; the pancreatic ducts drain the pancreas. With the use of a flexible tube (endoscope) and specialized X-rays, an ERCP can help evaluate and treat gallstones within the bile duct, open a narrowed bile duct, look for causes of acute pancreatitis (acute inflammation of the pancreas) and take a sample of tissue (biopsy) from an abnormal growth.
Endoluminal stenting, a technique used to manage gastrointestinal blockages, is offered at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. This endoscopic procedure involves the placement of a thin tube (plastic or metal stent) to manage a blockage within the GI tract. Most commonly, a stent is placed into the bile duct, esophagus, colon or small bowel to manage non-cancerous and cancerous blockages.