February 02, 2020
Cookeville Regional is proud to now offer endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), a minimally invasive procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to obtain images of the digestive tract and the organs that surround it, including the liver, bile ducts, pancreas and lymph nodes.
“It’s a procedure that we do endoscopically like an upper endoscopy (EGD) or a colonoscopy, but we can turn on an ultrasound feature when we’re in there, which gives us images that see through the wall, through the muscle, and into the structures that lay outside of the bowel,” said Nicole Pisapia, DO, a specialist in gastroenterology with CRMG Gastroenterology Consultants who has received special training to perform the EUS procedure.
Having technology like this available allows gastroenterologists to more easily see and assess pancreatic diseases, tumors, cysts, chronic pancreatitis, gallstones and other bile duct issues.
“Then there are other indications besides looking at the organs,” said Dr. Pisapia. “If someone has a tumor — like an esophageal cancer, rectal cancer, anal cancer, even pancreatic cancer —we can help to stage that tumor by seeing how deep it goes through the muscle layer of the part that it’s in.”
The EUS procedure also allows physicians to determine whether diseased areas are localized or have spread and, if necessary, to perform a needle biopsy on the tissue and surrounding lymph nodes to help provide tumor staging information.
“It gives us eyes that go deeper than just the surface, and it’s sensitive and specific for looking at things in a closer way than a CT or an MRI sometimes can,” said Dr. Pisapia.
EUS is a great advancement over existing technologies and procedures for finding and exploring areas of concern in the digestive system. And, according to Dr. Pisapia, it’s unusual for a community medical center to offer EUS, which is typically only available in cities with major university medical centers.
“It’s a huge advantage for a community like Cookeville to be able to do something like this and not have to send patients to these big cities,” said Dr. Pisapia. “There are certain reasons that somebody
may still need to go to a university, but we’ll now be able to take care of the majority of their needs here.”
For more information about EUS or to make an appointment, please call CRMG Gastroenterology Consultants at (931) 783-2616.