What is an EUS?
Endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) is an endoscopic procedure that allows for the examination of the linings of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, including the esophagus, stomach, duodenum, colon, and rectum. In addition, it allows for examination of many different organs and structures that are adjacent to the GI tract, including the lungs, liver, gallbladder, bile ducts, pancreas, adrenal glands, and lymph nodes of the mediastinum and abdomen. EUS is often used in the diagnosis and staging of various cancers of the GI tract. It is also used for the diagnosis and treatment of many different non-cancerous conditions, including pancreatic and biliary diseases.
What should I expect during an EUS?
For EUS exams of the upper GI tract, you will be asked to fast for at least 6 hours before the procedure. For EUS exams of the lower GI tract, you will be asked to either take a colonic cleansing solution or take laxatives and enemas prior to the examination. You can expect to spend 2 - 3 hours at the hospital the day of your EUS. The procedure itself takes approximately 30 to 60 minutes to complete. Before the procedure a nurse will insert an intravenous (IV) line into your hand or arm. During the procedure, an anesthesiologist or CRNA will provide medications to ensure that you are sedated and comfortable. The physician will insert a flexible, lighted endoscope that has a built-in miniature ultrasound probe into your mouth or anus and advance it to the area that needs to be examined. Your doctor will then use the ultrasound to create real time images of the GI tract and the surrounding structures and organs. If a tissue sample is needed, a needle is passed through the endoscope and into the desired structure under ultrasound guidance.
What should I expect after an EUS?
The physician will discuss the results of the procedure with you, as well as a family member if you choose. You will also be given a written report and post procedure instructions. Some patients experience mild bloating, cramping, and/or a sore throat after the procedure. These symptoms are typically mild and resolve with time. Any tissue samples/biopsies obtained during the procedure will be sent to a lab for evaluation. You will be contacted by phone or mail with the results in 1 – 2 weeks.
You may resume most of your regular activities the day after the procedure. Due to the medications given during the procedure DO NOT drive on the day of your procedure. You may resume your normal diet, but alcohol should be avoided until the next day after your procedure.