Living Well

Endoscopic Ultrasound

Last updated: Oct 23, 2012




What is endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)?
Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is a medical procedure that involves inserting a thin, hollow, flexible tube with a camera (also known as an endoscope) through the mouth or the rectum into internal organs in the chest and abdomen. The camera inside the tube takes pictures of the organ walls and adjoining structures.

Endoscopic ultrasound differs from nonultrasound endoscopy because it uses sound waves that bounce off structures in the body to create accurate pictures.

Gastroenterologists and pulmonologists with advanced training in endoscopic ultrasonography often use it to evaluate the:

  • Esophagus
  • Pancreas
  • Stomach
  • Bile ducts
  • Gallbladder
  • Intestines
  • Respiratory tract

Uses of Endoscopic Ultrasound
"Doctors use endoscopic ultrasound to examine suspicious lumps such as tumors and cysts found in another procedure such as a computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance image (MRI)," says Summit Medical Group gastroenterologist Tamir Ben-Menachem, MD. "Endoscopic ultrasound is the most accurate way to find gallstones, small tumors in the stomach, and small tumors in the intestines. It also is a highly accurate way to identify chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer," adds Dr. Ben-Menachem.

"Another advantage of endoscopic ultrasound is that doctors can insert a needle in the endoscope to extract cells for biopsy," says Dr. Ben-Menachem. "It also can be used to administer certain medications, including those used to treat or block pain in patients with painful diseases of the stomach, pancreas, or intestines." 

Preparing for Endoscopic Ultrasound
Preparing for an endoscopic ultrasound is similar to preparing for other endoscopic procedures. Your physician will give you precise directions about what you can eat, the medicines you can take, and your activities before and after your procedure.

If you are going to have an endoscopic ultrasound:

  • Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including insulin, Coumadin, heparin, and over-the-counter blood thinners such as aspirin and ibuprofen; he or she will give you instructions to either stop taking the medicine 7 to 10 days before your procedure or to keep taking your medicine as prescribed
  • Tell your doctor about any allergies / reactions you have, including those from medications
  • Bring all your medicines, including eye drops and prescription / nonprescription medicine with you the day of the procedure
  • Arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure
    You will not be allowed to drive after you have been sedated. If you arrive for your endoscopic ultrasound without a ride home, your procedure will be rescheduled
  • Do not eat or drink anything and do not chew gum or have mints after midnight the day before your endoscopic ultrasound
    If your procedure is scheduled for the afternoon, you may have small sips of clear liquids, including water, apple juice, ginger ale, Sprite, beef and chicken broth (no noodles), coffee and tea without milk or cream, some sodas, sherbet, popsicles, and Jell-O that is not red or orange up to 6 hours before your arrival. Do not drink anything red or orange!
  • Take required medicines with small sips of water
  • Follow your doctor's instructions for cleaning your intestines before an intestinal endoscopic ultrasound

Endoscopic ultrasound takes about 30 to 60 minutes.

Is endoscopic ultrasound painful?
Endoscopic ultrasound does not hurt. In fact, most patients suggest they do not remember it because of the intravenous (IV) sedative they receive. 

Recovering From Endoscopic Ultrasound
It does not take long to recover from an endscopic ultrasound. After the procedure, you will recover in a special room until your sedation subsides. Some patients experience mild and temporary stomach cramping or bloating after the procedure.

How accurate is endoscopic ultrasound?
“Because the accuracy of endoscopic ultrasound depends on the doctor’s experience, you should choose a doctor who has performed many endoscopic ultrasounds and who is especially skilled at the procedure," says Summit Medical Group gastroenterologist Hazar Michael, MD.

More patients come to Summit Medical Group Gastroenterology
than anywhere else in the state
for their endoscopic ultrasounds!

For more information about your digestive health
or to schedule an appointment with us,
call 908-277-8940.

Learn about our outstanding
Advanced Gastrointestinal (G) Interventional Endoscopy service.