Endoscopic ultrasonography, or EUS, uses traditional endoscopic procedures with ultrasound technology. Advanced endoscopy physicians use lower EUS to examine tissue and walls of the lower digestive tract, lower colon and rectum and surrounding organs. This procedure can confirm the presence of certain medical conditions of the digestive system without the need for more advanced procedures.
Your gastroenterologist may recommend a lower EUS procedure if you have:
- unexplained abdominal pain
- abnormal weight loss
- previously detected lumps or lesions
- rectal tumors, including anal and rectal cancer
During the EUS test, a physician passes an endoscope, or narrow, flexible tube, that includes a miniature ultrasound probe through your colon to the area under study. The ultrasound waves create detailed images that provide valuable information about your lower digestive tract.
How to Prepare for Lower EUS
- Your physician or physician’s office will give you instructions as to which bowel preparation you will need to clean out your colon. (If you do not receive “prep” instructions, please contact the physician who will be performing the procedure.)
- Let your physician know about any special needs, medical conditions, allergies (such as latex) and all current medications you are taking. For instance, you may not be allowed to take certain over-the-counter painkillers for a week before the exam. Be sure to let your physician know if you are taking aspirin or any type of blood thinning medication such as Coumadin.
- Plan to take the day off from work.
- Plan to have someone you know drive you home. Because the EUS test is usually performed with intravenous (IV) sedation or monitored anesthesia care (MAC), you will not be allowed to drive or return to work until the next day.
- The GI Lab staff will try to contact you the evening before your procedure to answer any questions you may have.
What to Expect Once You Arrive for Lower EUS
- Plan to arrive in the GI Lab 30 minutes before your scheduled procedure time.
- You will have an intravenous line placed because the EUS test is usually performed with intravenous sedation or monitored anesthesia. An anesthesiologist may meet with you to discuss your sedation plan.
- You will be asked if there is someone available to drive you home after the procedure. The procedure will not be performed if you do not have a driver available to pick you up afterwards in the GI Lab.
- You will be positioned on your left side or on your back.
- In most cases, the procedure usually takes between 30 to 60 minutes.
- During the procedure, you may feel cramping, bloating or pressure in the abdominal area due to air and water that are introduced into the colon.
- Your physician may take biopsies, or small tissue samples, or remove polyps, which are growths on the lining of the colon.
What to Expect After Lower EUS
- After the procedure is completed, you will recover in the GI Lab for about 30 to 45 minutes. Because the colon is expanded during the procedure, you will be encouraged to pass gas.
- Once you have met the discharge criteria, your physician will discuss the preliminary findings with you and let you know if you need to undergo additional testing. You also will find out when you can resume taking your usual medication. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics after the EUS test.
- After the recovery period, you can return home and usually eat right away.
- If you had intravenous sedation or monitored anesthesia, you will not be allowed to drive or return to work until the next day.
- You will receive written discharge instructions to take home. This information will include diet, medication and other follow-up instructions.
For More Information
The EUS test is available at our Evanston and Highland Park GI Lab locations. For more information or to schedule an appointment with an advanced endoscopist, please call 847.570.2030.
NorthShore offers interpretive language services for non-English speaking patients. A request for this no-cost service should be made at the time of appointment scheduling.