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Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)

What is Endoscopic Ultrasound?
Endoscopic Ultrasound is a way to look at the walls of the esophagus, stomach, duodenum, and colon as well as surrounding organs by using high frequency ultrasound beams.  The doctors who do this special procedure have extra training.

Why should I have Endoscopic Ultrasound done?

  • It is a way for the doctor to look at how big and how thick masses or cysts are in your digestive system. 
  • The doctor can take samples of tissue so you don’t have to have major surgery to get samples.
  • The doctor can get information about the stage of a cancer so the proper treatment can be started.
  • Chronic pancreatitis and other masses or cysts of the pancreas can be evaluated.
  • The bile duct can be looked at and stones can be seen in the gallbladder.
  • The muscles in your lower rectum and anal canal can be examined.

How do I get ready for Endoscopic Ultrasound?
Your stomach and duodenum must be empty for the test so it is safe to do and the doctor can see clearly.  You will not be able to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the procedure. You must arrange to have someone take you home.

What happens during Endoscopic Ultrasound?
The nurse will give you special medicine to gargle with or will spray the back of your throat so you won’t gag during the test. You will be asked to lie on your left side.  Anesthesia staff will give you medicine in your IV to make you sleepy so you won’t hurt or remember the procedure.  The doctor will insert the tube and slowly. The doctor may take samples of tissue.  The procedure can take 20 minutes up to 2 hours depending on what the doctor sees, how many samples are taken, and the time a pathologist needs to check the samples

What happens after Endoscopic Ultrasound?
Since air was put in your stomach, you may burp for a while or feel bloated.  Because of the medicine you were given, you won’t remember the doctor talking to you after the procedure.  This is normal and everything will be written down for you. You may have a mild sore throat for a day or two. The doctor will want to see you in the office the following week to discuss the results.  Even if you are still a little sleepy, you will be able to go home.  The best thing is to go home and take a nap.  If you are hungry, you can eat a light meal.

Are there any Complications?
Endoscopic Ultrasound is safe when done by specially trained doctors.  One complication is a tear in the lining of the stomach. This is very rare. Another is bleeding from where a sample was taken. Another rare complication is pancreatitis (an inflammation of the pancreas).