Published: May 16, 2007
Updated: Aug. 22, 2011
What is Endoscopic Ultrasound?
Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is a procedure in which an endoscope (a small flexible tube) is inserted through the mouth into your esophagus, stomach and the first part of the small intestine.
On the end of the endoscope there is an ultrasound machine. This allows the wall of the intestinal tract as well as the organs immediately adjacent to the wall of the intestinal tract to be evaluated with the ultrasound.
When is EUS used?
Endoscopic ultrasound is used in the following situations:
How do I prepare for an EUS?
You should have nothing to eat or drink after midnight on the evening before the procedure. You should plan for recovery time after the procedure and in most situations this will be another one or two hours.
What happens during the procedure?
You will be given a sedative to relax you. The physician will place a small flexible tube into your throat and down into your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. Ultrasound will then be used to examine the area of interest. In some situations a biopsy (obtaining a sample of tissue) is necessary. If this is to be obtained, this will be done during the procedure using the ultrasound to guide placement of a small needle.
What happens after the procedure?
You will be observed for approximately one to two hours and then may go home. You will not be able to drive or do anything that requires coordination or quick response for the remainder of the day. You will need to have somebody pick you up from the hospital and drive your home.
What are the benefits of this procedure?
EUS will help your physician better understand what the abnormality is. In addition, if a biopsy is performed, it may provide a definitive answer as to the abnormality in your gastrointestinal tract.
What are the risks associated with this procedure?
Your esophagus, stomach, or intestine may be injured or punctured. You may develop inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis). There is a risk of infection and bleeding. The procedure may be unsuccessful in obtaining the information required. You should ask your doctor how these risks apply to you.
When should I call the doctor?
Call the doctor immediately if:
How long does the procedure take?
The procedure generally takes between 30 and 60 minutes.
How will I get the results of this test?
Your physician will talk to you after the procedure and tell you what was found during your test. However, if biopsies were taken, it takes several days to obtain the results. You should discuss with your physician whether these results will be communicated to you directly or to the referring physician.
This article is intended as a resource for patients receiving their cancer care at Duke University Hospital or Duke Clinic. It is not intended to substitute for medical advice from your health care team. If your doctor’s instructions differ from the information in this article, please talk with your doctor before making any changes.
Source: Duke Cancer Patient Education Program / Patient & Family Education Committee 8/00