Endoscopic Ultrasound

Endoscopic UltraSound (EUS) is a procedure to obtain images and information about the digestive tract and the surrounding tissue and organs. Ultrasound testing uses sound waves to make a picture of internal organs. (EUS) is a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure that allows your doctor (gastroenterologist/endoscopist) to obtain detailed images of digestive system organs. EUS provides more information than that obtained with CT or MRI imaging. It can be used to take needle biopsies from abnormal digestive organ areas, avoiding exploratory surgery. It can also be used to take sample fluid from a cyst.

During the procedure, a small ultrasound device is installed on the tip of an endoscope. An endoscope is a small, lighted, flexible tube with a camera attached. By inserting the endoscope and camera into the upper or the lower digestive tract, the doctor is able to obtain high-quality ultrasound images of organs. The EUS can get close to the organ(s) being examined. The images obtained with EUS are often more accurate and detailed than images provided by traditional ultrasound that travels from outside the body.

Uses of Endoscopic UltraSound (EUS):

  • Evaluate stages of cancer
  • Evaluate chronic pancreatitis or other disorders of the pancreas
  • Study abnormalities or tumors in organs, including the gallbladder and liver
  • Study the muscles of the lower rectum and anal canal to determine reasons for fecal incontinence
  • Study nodules (bumps) in the intestinal wall

How is EUS performed?

A thin, flexible tube (endoscope) is passed through the mouth and into the stomach and duodenum. The tip of the endoscope contains a built-in miniature ultrasound probe and emits sound waves. These sound waves pass through the lining of the stomach and duodenum creating a visual image of the pancreas and surrounding tissue. EUS may be used to obtain a needle biopsy of the pancreas or to sample fluid in a pancreatic cyst. This is done by passing a very thin needle from the endoscope into the pancreas under continuous ultrasound monitoring. This technique is called EUS-fine needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) and does not hurt.

Can I eat before the procedure?

If your procedure is scheduled before 12 pm, do not eat or drink anything after midnight. If your procedure is scheduled after 12 pm you may have clear liquids until 8 am on the day of the test.

Should I take my medications?

If you are taking medication for high blood pressure, seizures, or if you are taking prednisone, you may take these medications in the morning on the day of the procedure or at least two hours before the procedure with a sip of water. Do not take water/fluid pills after midnight on the night before your procedure. If you take aspirin or anticoagulant medications, such as warfarin (Coumadin), heparin or clopidogrel (Plavix), contact your prescribing physician for instructions on when to stop taking your medication prior to your procedure.

Will I be awake for the procedure?

The EUS procedure is performed using intravenous sedatives and helps you relax. Depending on the sedation used, you may not remember the procedure. Most patients consider the procedure only slightly uncomfortable, while some fall asleep during it.


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