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Endoscopic Ultrasonography (EUS) Patient Education

What is an EUS?

Endoscopic Ultrasonography (EUS) is a test done by your gastroenterologist to see or treat your condition. EUS lets your doctor look at your stomach lining and the walls of your upper (esophagus, stomach and duodenum) and lower (colon and rectum) gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

A scope uses sound waves to take pictures of the digestive tract and organs around it.

It is done to:

  • See the cause of stomach pain or unexplained weight loss;
  • Check an abnormality such as a lump found earlier on endoscopy;
  • Diagnose diseases of the pancreas, bile duct and gallbladder;
  • See a cancer tumor;
  • Get biopsies;
  • Help drain fluid or remove a cyst; and
  • See the problem and then help treat it.
    Ask your doctor why you need to have this test.

How do I prepare for the test?

  • Carefully read and follow the instructions sent to you.
  • Two days before your test, you will be called for information that will streamline your admission process.
  • Make a list of all your medicines (include dosage) and any allergies you have. Bring this list with you on the day of your test.
  • Ask which medicines on your list should be taken the day of your test. If you must take medicine, use only a small sip of water.
  • If you take blood thinners (e.g. Coumadin, Heparin) and/or insulin, ask your primary doctor what to take before and after EUS testing.
    If antibiotics are needed, your EUS doctor will order them during your test.

What should I expect during the procedure?

Your procedure will take place in the Endoscopy Unit. Before the test, your doctor will answer your questions, explain the risks and benefits and you will sign a consent form. You will have an I.V. started in your hand or arm.

You will be given sedation for this test. This is medicine that will change your judgment and reflexes for the rest of the day. Please arrange for someone to drive you home and stay with you.

A doctor will check your health condition before starting anesthesia. Your blood pressure, pulse and oxygen level will be watched by applying a finger probe and blood pressure cuff. You will be lying on your left side. The equipment (endoscope) will be passed through your mouth if you’re having an upper EUS test, or anus if you’re having a lower EUS. The anesthesia allows you to be comfortable throughout the test.

What can I expect after my test?

After the test, you will go to an area where staff watch your blood pressure, pulse and breathing while you wake up. If you had an upper GI EUS you could have a sore throat. You may feel bloated because of air introduced during your test. You can eat after your treatment unless you are told not to.

What are the risks?

Problems as a result of an EUS are rare when performed by doctors with specialized training and experience. Possible problems are:

  • Bleeding at a biopsy site
  • Reaction to sedatives/anesthesia
  • Infection
  • Aspiration of stomach contents into lungs
  • Tear in the wall of the GI tract
  • Complications from heart or lung diseases

Nurses on our unit have been specially trained to help you have a safe and comfortable exam. Endoscopists are highly trained specialists who welcome your questions about their credentials, training and experience. If you have questions, talk to your doctor, endoscopist or nurse.

When will I get my results?

Your provider usually can give you test results the same day.

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