Endoscopic Ultrasonography, or EUS, uses traditional endoscopic procedures with ultrasound technology. Less invasive than other procedures, physicians use a 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.

During the procedure, 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 the procedure

  • 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.
  • 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 if the procedure is performed with intravenous sedation or monitored anesthesia (MAC). In this case, you will be asked if there is someone available to drive you home after the procedure, and you will not be allowed to drive for 24 hours after the procedure.
  • You will be positioned on your left side or on your back.
  • In most cases, the procedure usually takes between 30 to 60 minutes.
  • You may feel cramping, bloating or pressure in the abdominal area because during the procedure air and water 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 the procedure

  • After the procedure is completed, you will recover for about 30 to 45 minutes. Because the colon is expanded during the procedure, you will be encouraged to pass flatus (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 procedure.
  • You will receive discharge instructions to take home.
  • 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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