Digestive Disease Center

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Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)

What is Endoscopic Ultrasound?

Sample EUS image
Sample EUS image showing a mass adjacent to the stomach.

Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) is a procedure that looks at your digestive system from the inside. It can be done for either your upper or lower digestive tract. A thin flexible tube, called an endoscope, with a tiny camera at the end is gently guided into your digestive system. This tube also has a tiny transducer at the end that can send out sound waves very similar to an external ultrasound. The use of sound waves allows your doctor to examine and take pictures of your digestive system, and the organs and lymph nodes outside of the digestive tract.

How Do I Prepare for My EUS?

Your test is scheduled as an outpatient in most cases. Rarely, you stay over night in the hospital. You will be told if this is possible. Be sure to follow the instructions below before your exam:

If you come alone, your test will have to be rescheduled.

What Will Happen During My EUS?

  1. When you come for the EUS, the doctor will talk to you about the test and answer any questions. You should know why you are having an EUS and understand the treatment options and possible risks.
  2. You will put on a hospital gown and be asked to remove any eye glasses, contact lenses or dentures. An IV will be started and blood may be drawn for lab studies. You may receive antibiotics through the IV.
  3. Physician holding endoscope during EUS procedure.
    Physician holding an endoscope during an EUS procedure.
    Zoomed in image shows the endoscope control head.
  4. You will be asked to sign a consent for which gives the doctor your permission to do the test.
  5. You will be taken by stretcher to the procedure room. The nurse will help you get into the correct position, usually on your side, and make you comfortable. Anesthesia may be used or moderate sedation. A plastic guard will be placed in your mouth to protect your teeth during the test.
  6. A blood pressure cuff will be put on your arm or leg. A small clip will be put on your finger. These will let the nurse check your blood pressure and heart rate frequently during the test.
  7. You will be given medicine through the IV to make you relaxed and sleepy. When you are sleepy, the doctor will place a thin, flexible tube (endoscope) through the mouth guard and into your mouth. The endoscope has a small video camera on the end that lets the doctor see the inside of your G.I. tract.
  8. The doctor will ask you to swallow. When you swallow, the endoscope will move down your esophagus, the same way food goes down when you eat. You may feel like gagging, but should not feel any pain. This will not interfere with your breathing.
  9. The doctor will guide the endoscope through your G.I. tract. This will allow the doctor to see the lining of your upper digestive system and treat any problems found.
  10. Sometimes the EUS exam involves passing the endoscope through the anus. The preparation and procedure are similar to flexible sigmoidoscopy.
  11. The nurse monitors you carefully. The procedure can take anywhere from 5 to 90 minutes.

What Treatment(s) May Be Done During My EUS?

EUS may be used to treat your condition.

If you need any of these treatments, the doctor will tell you.

What Will Happen After My EUS?

  1. After the EUS, you will be taken to the recovery area. Your blood pressure and heart rate are watched until you will wake up in about 30 to 90 minutes.
  2. After removing your IV, the nurse will give you written instructions to follow when you go home. If you have any questions, please ask. The doctor will talk to you about your test before you leave.
  3. Even if you feel awake, your judgment and reflexes will be slow. You will not be allowed to leave unless an adult takes you home. Again, you will not be able to drive.
  4. If treatments were done during your test, you may need to be observed overnight so the doctors can check on you.

Over the Next 24 hours ...

What are the Risks of an EUS?

Your doctor will discuss these risks with you.

Call your Doctor if You

If you have any problems, call your specialist. If it is after regular business hours, page the "GI Doctor on Call" through the MUSC paging operator at (843) 792-2123.

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