Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)

digestive health associates endoscopic ultrasound eus

What is Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) and What Purpose Does it Serve?

An endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) allows the doctor to take pictures of the organs and tissues of your digestive tract internally.

Depending on the area of your digestive system your doctor wants to study, he or she will place a thin tube with a tiny probe at the end through your mouth or through your rectum to the area to be investigated. The probe sends out sound waves that bounce off the surrounding organs, such as your stomach, small intestine, pancreas, bile ducts, and liver. It converts them into images that the doctor can see on a screen. The probe can capture high quality ultrasound images of areas of interest that are more detailed than what a CT scan, MRI, or traditional external ultrasound can capture.

If the doctor sees an area that should be biopsied, special needles designed to work with the EUS scope allow him or her to complete a biopsy at the same time without requiring another procedure.

Your doctor may recommend an EUS for diagnostic purposes:

  • After you have an abnormal CT scan, MRI, or abdominal ultrasound;
  • To investigate abnormal blood tests that show elevated liver function or pancreatic enzymes;
  • To look closer at the lining of your esophagus or your pancreas;
  • As a way to study the muscles in the lower rectum;
  • To determine the spread of certain cancers;
  • Or in many other diagnostic situations.

If you have certain types of abdominal pain, your doctor may also recommend an EUS.

How Should I Prepare for the Procedure and What Can I Expect?

Because the procedure requires you to have sedatives to help you relax and sleep during the procedure, you will need to avoid eating or drinking anything for eight hours before. If you take certain blood thinning medications, you may need to stop taking them a week before the test.

The procedure usually lasts between 20 and 45 minutes, and your recovery period usually lasts between 20 minutes and an hour. You will have the opportunity to talk with the doctor to discuss the results of the test before you are discharged. Because you will be sedated during the procedure, someone will need to drive you home.

Learn More: Endoscopic Ultrasound


Mayo Clinic

American Association for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

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