What is the purpose of an Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)?
Your doctor may have found a lesion or abnormality during a prior endoscopy study (Upper Endoscopy or Colonoscopy) or an X-ray test, such as a Computerized Tomography (CT) scan. An Endoscopic Ultrasound will allow your doctor to see very detailed ultrasound images of the lesion or abnormality.
The bowel wall and nearby organs and structures (such as lymph nodes or blood vessels) can also be seen.
If a biopsy is needed, fine needle aspiration (FNA) can be performed. Your doctor will use the ultrasound image to guide a thin needle through the endoscope to take the biopsy.
Help with staging of cancer.
Cancer staging describes the size of the tumor and whether it has spread to nearby lymph nodes or to other parts of the body. Staging helps your oncologist (cancer doctor) to plan the proper treatment.
- Other cancers
EUS also allows your doctor to look at lesions in the wall of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, look at the pancreas, look at bile ducts, gallbladder, and liver, and to find the cause of fecal incontinence.
To properly prepare for your procedure, you may need to make certain changes to your daily medication routine.
- If you take insulin, consult with your physician about making any necessary changes in your daily regimen.
- If you take medications that contain aspirin or other anti-inflammatory drugs (such as Motrin, Advil, Indocin), we recommend that you stop taking them 7 days before your procedure. They may increase your risk of bleeding after removal of a polyp or a biopsy during your EUS by interfering with the normal clotting of your blood.
- If you are currently taking Coumadin, Xarelto, Plavix, Eliquis or any other blood thinner, you must check with your prescribing physician before changing or interrupting your daily routine.
- Certain medications should be continued prior to your EUS. If you take cardiac (heart) or anti-hypertensive (high blood pressure) pills, take them as you normally do with small sips of water.
- Bring a list of all your medications (prescription medications, over-the-counter medications and eye drops) with you on the day of your procedure. You may bring the medication bottles themselves.
- Be prepared to list and describe your allergies and reactions to any medications.
- Because you will receive relaxing medication during your procedure, you must arrange to have a responsible adult pick you up and/or accompany you home if you will take public transportation. You may not operate an automobile or other mechanical equipment until the day following your procedure.
- To ensure the most accurate results possible, it is important that you do not eat or drink anything after midnight on the day before your procedure. The exception is medication taken with small sips of water.
- If the endoscopic ultrasound if being performed in the colon, a bowel preparation may be required.
The Day of Your Procedure
On the day of your EUS plan to spend several hours at the unit to allow time for your preparation, procedure, and recovery.
Before the procedure, a nurse will greet you and assist with changing into a hospital gown. An IV will be placed in your arm. You will receive relaxing medications through the IV during your procedure. You will be lying on your side during the EUS and the endoscope will be passed through your mouth and throat to view the upper digestive tract. Alternatively, the endoscope may be passed into the colon depending on the indication for the procedure. Depending on the findings of the exam, several things can be done at the time of the procedure including biopsies, removal of polyps, and control of bleeding. The procedure takes approximately 30 to 60 minutes to complete.
After the EUS you will be taken to the recovery area where you will be monitored until most of the effects of the relaxing medications have worn off. You may have some cramping or bloating as a result of the procedure. Occasionally antibiotics may be required following an EUS. Your physician will discuss this with you at the time of your procedure.
You will not be allowed to drive for the rest of the day; therefore, you will need to arrange for a ride home. You will also be instructed not to work, sign important papers, or perform strenuous activities for the rest of the day. Most patients are able to eat and drink normally after their discharge from the Endoscopy unit; however, specific instructions regarding activity, eating, and medications will be given to the patient prior to discharge.
You should call the office at (714) 778-1300 to schedule a follow-up appointment within 2 weeks of your procedure. The results of the procedure and the follow-up plan will be discussed at the follow-up visit.