Endoscopic Ultrasonography (EUS) uses traditional endoscopic procedures with ultrasound technology. Less invasive than other procedures, physicians perform this endoscopic technique to examine tissue and walls of the upper digestive tract, such as the esophagus and stomach lining, as well as the pancreas, gallbladder and surrounding organs. An Upper EUS can confirm the presence of certain medical conditions of the digestive system without the need for more advanced procedures.

During the procedure, a physician passes an endoscope, or narrow, flexible tube, that includes a miniature ultrasound probe through your mouth and esophagus to the area under study. The ultrasound waves create detailed images that provide valuable information about your upper digestive tract.

How to prepare for the procedure

  • You may have diet and/or medication restrictions (especially aspirin and other anti-inflammatory products) several days before the exam. For instance, you may not be allowed to take certain over-the-counter painkillers.
  • If you are on Coumadin or other blood thinning medication, please contact your primary care physician. Notify your gastroenterologist if your physician feels you need to continue on your medication.
  • You will not be allowed any food or liquids (including water) for at least six hours before the procedure.
  • Plan to take the day off from work.
  • Plan to have someone you know drive you home. Because the procedure is usually performed with intravenous sedation or monitored anesthesia (MAC), you will not be allowed to drive for 24 hours after the procedure or return to work until the next day.
  • Let your physician know about any special needs, medical conditions, allergies (such as latex), and all current medications you are taking.
  • The NorthShore 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 the procedure

  • Plan to arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled procedure time.
  • You may have an intravenous line placed because the procedure is usually performed with intravenous sedation or monitored anesthesia.
  • You will be asked if there is someone available to drive you home after the procedure.
  • You will be positioned on your left side.
  • In most cases, the procedure usually takes between 60 to 90 minutes.
  • During the procedure, you may feel pressure in the abdominal area.
  • If needed, your physician may give you medication to help you relax during the exam.
  • Your physician may take biopsies, or small tissue samples; remove polyps, which are growths on the lining of the stomach; or aspirate cysts or growths.

What to expect after the procedure

  • After the procedure is completed, you will recover for about 30 to 45 minutes.
  • You may experience a sore throat.
  • Once you have met the discharge criteria, your physician will discuss the preliminary findings with you and let you know if you have to undergo additional testing. You also will find out when you can resume taking your usual medications. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics after the procedure.
  • You will receive discharge instructions to take home.
  • Diet and/or medication restrictions may be given to certain patients depending on the findings of the exam.
  • 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 for 24 hours after the procedure.
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