Endoscopic Ultrasonography (EUS)

Procedure Questions

What is Endoscopic Ultrasonography (EUS)?

EUS, or Endoscopic Ultrasound, is a procedure that provides a detailed picture of your entire digestive tract and organs that lie next to it, like the gallbladder and pancreas.

An Endoscopic Ultrasonography (EUS) is used to diagnose, and evaluate conditions of the digestive tract and its surrounding organs.

Procedure Bullet Points


  • Is low-risk and well tolerated
  • Produces a detailed picture of the digestive tract and adjacent organs
  • May require the patient to abstain from eating beforehand
  • Will take approximately 15-45 minutes
  • May require sedation

The Endoscopic Ultrasonography (EUS) is performed by passing an endoscope, a thin and flexible tube, through your esophagus or anus. Your doctor will find the area to be examined, then they will turn on an ultrasound component. The ultrasound component will produce sound waves that can be converted into visual images of the digestive tract.

You should look into an Endoscopic Ultrasonography (EUS) to:

  • Investigate the causes of:
    • abdominal pain
    • abnormal weight loss
    • abnormal growths
  • Confirm or reevaluate a previous diagnosis
  • Diagnose diseases of:
    • the pancreas
    • bile duct
    • gallbladder
  • Examine the extent of cancers of the digestive or respiratory systems.
    • EUS allows your doctor to accurately determine if cancer has spread to adjacent glands or vital structures.

Your preparation procedure will depend upon which portion of the gastrointestinal tract your Endoscopic Ultrasonography (EUS) will examine.

For EUS of the upper gastrointestinal tract, you will most likely be asked to fast for at least 4-8 hours beforehand to ensure an empty stomach.

For EUS of the rectum or colon, your doctor may or may not advise you to undergo special preparation. If so, they will guide you through a cleansing routine.

Your cleansing routine may consist of:

  • 1-2 enema
  • A limited diet consisting of clear liquids
  • Consuming a special cleansing solution
  • Or laxatives

It’s important to follow your cleansing routine carefully, as any material remaining in the colon or rectum can affect the accuracy of the procedure.

Inform your doctor of:

  • Any medication that you take regularly, especially;
    • aspirin products
    • arthritis medications
    • blood thinners (such as Warfarin or Heparin)
    • Clopidogrel
    • Insulin
  • Any known allergies to medication
  • Any known allergy to latex
  • If you take antibiotics before dental procedures
    • Antibiotics may be ordered during the EUS examination or after the examination to help prevent an infection
    • Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics if you’re having a specialized EUS
  • Any medical conditions that will require special attention, such as;
    • diabetes
    • heart conditions
    • lung conditions
    • any other major conditions

Check with your doctor which medications you can continue before the procedure. The morning of your EUS you should take any essential medications with only a small cup of water.

It’s important to follow all of your doctor’s instructions. You’ll need to plan for ride home from the office as it is not advised for patients to drive for the remainder of the day due to effects from the medication.

You should also plan for someone to stay with you at home, because the sedatives may affect you for the rest of the day.

For an Endoscopic Ultrasonography (EUS) of the upper gastrointestinal tract, you’ll be asked to lay on your back or on your side.

You may be given:

  • A sedative to help you relax
  • A local anesthetic to numb your throat
  • A mouth guard to wear and hold open your mouth

Your doctor will ask you to swallow as the endoscope is worked down your esophagus. You won’t be able to speak while the endoscopy is in progress, but you will be able to breath and make noises.

You might feel:

  • Pressure in the throat and abdomen
  • A feeling of fullness as air is fed into the GI tract

You shouldn’t feel any pain.

Most Endoscopic Ultrasonography (EUS) examinations of the upper gastrointestinal tract take between 15 to 45 minutes.

For an EUS of the lower gastrointestinal tract you will be asked to lay on your side. The EUS can be performed safely and comfortably without medication, but you may receive a sedative if the examination will be prolonged or if the doctor will examine a significant distance into the colon.

Most Endoscopic Ultrasonography (EUS) examinations of the lower gastrointestinal tract take 10 to 30 minutes

If you received sedatives, you’ll be taken to a room to rest after the procedure where you’ll be monitored until your sedatives begin to wear off. Then you will be allowed to leave with your prepared ride.

Your doctor can generally walk you through the results on the same day as the procedure, but some test results may take longer.

You may experience:

  • Sore throat if you had an Endoscopic Ultrasonography (EUS) of the upper gastrointestinal tract
  • Bloating because air and water introduced during the examination
  • Bleeding from a biopsy site

Upon returning home:

  • You’ll be able to eat
  • You can return to your normal lifestyle within a day.
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