A procedure that provides detailed pictures of your digestive tract anatomy which may include the upper or lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
What is endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)?
Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) provides detailed pictures of your digestive tract anatomy which may include the upper or lower gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The upper tract is the esophagus, stomach and duodenum; the lower tract is the colon and rectum.
EUS is also used to study internal organs that lie next to the gastrointestinal tract, such as the gall bladder and pancreas. EUS may be used to diagnose the cause of conditions such as abdominal pain or abnormal weight loss. EUS is also used to evaluate an abnormality, such as a growth, that was detected at a prior procedure or by x-ray. In addition, EUS can be used to diagnose diseases of the pancreas, bile duct and gallbladder when other tests are inconclusive.
Your physician will use a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope that he or she will pass through your mouth or anus to the area to be examined. Your physician then will turn on the ultrasound component to produce sound waves that create visual images of the digestive tract.
What can I expect during EUS?
EUS of the Upper GI Tract
For EUS of the upper GI tract, you will be given medication at the beginning of the procedure to help you relax and minimize discomfort or gagging. This medication will make you drowsy.
The actual procedure generally takes between 30 -60 minutes. Most patients consider it only slightly uncomfortable and may fall asleep during it. If abnormal tissue is found, the physician may remove it through the endoscope for closer examination or biopsy.
EUS of the Lower GI Tract
EUS examination of the lower GI tract can often be performed safely and comfortably without medications, but you will probably receive a sedative if the examination will be prolonged or if the physician will examine a significant distance into the colon.
Most EUS examinations of the lower GI tract last about 30 minutes. If abnormal tissue is found, the doctor may remove it through the endoscope for closer examination or biopsy.
What are the possible complications of EUS?
Although serious complications from EUS are rare, any medical procedure has the potential for risks. Risks EUS include perforation, or a tear, of the lining of the stomach or esophagus, bleeding from a biopsy site, reactions to medications, heart and lung problems, and dental or eye injuries. The risk of complications slightly increases if a deep needle aspiration is performed during the EUS procedure. There is also a small risk of infection if fluid is removed from any cysts, and antibiotics may be given to prevent this.
Results from any testing will be sent via mail or sent to the Patient Portal