An endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is an outpatient test that will help your physician examine the lining and the walls of your upper gastrointestinal tract. Using EUS, your doctor can check the health of your esophagus, stomach, duodenum (part of the small intestine), and other internal organs that lie next to them, including the gall bladder, pancreas, and bile ducts. EUS can help your doctor diagnose the cause of abdominal pain or abnormal weight loss, or the test can confirm a diagnosis. Using EUS, a physician can also obtain tissue samples and assess the depth of cancer and whether it has spread to nearby lymph glands or major blood vessels.
Only a handful of physicians in the country are trained in this technique. In addition to using EUS to diagnose digestive diseases and stage cancers, the test can help plan the surgical removal of cancerous tumors.
Preparing for your endoscopic ultrasound
After midnight, patients must not eat or drink anything, even water. Tell the staff about any medications you are taking and whether you are allergic to medications or latex. Since you will receive sedation, you cannot drive for 24 hours.
What to expect during your endoscopic ultrasound
Prepare to be at Valley for at least 2-3 hours for preparation and the test. Your throat may be sprayed with a local anesthetic and sedation will be given to help you relax. An endoscope, a long thin tube, will then be passed through your mouth and down into your esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (part of the small intestine).This special endoscope contains a light source, a special camera, and ultrasound technology that produces sound waves to create visual images of your digestive tract. Special instruments may be used to obtain tissue samples.
After your endoscopic ultrasound
A nurse will monitor you until the sedation wears off. Your throat may be sore, and you may feel bloated because of air or water introduced during the exam. You must have someone drive you home. Your doctor will notify you of the results.