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Endoscopic Ultrasonography
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Endoscopic Ultrasonography Overview

Written by FoundHealth.


Endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) is used to view the walls of your digestive tract and other nearby organs. An ultrasound uses sound waves to make images of the inside of the body. In an EUS, the ultrasound probe is passed down the throat or up the rectum and into digestive tract.

What to Expect

Prior to Test

Leading up to the test, your doctor may instruct you to:

  • Avoid eating or drinking (not even water) for at least six hours before the test.
  • Take a special cleansing solution, laxative, or enema. This will clean out your intestines. You may also be asked to follow a clear liquid diet.
  • Arrange for a ride home after the test if you have to take a sedative.

In most cases, it is okay to take aspirin and other blood-thinning medicines before the test. Ask your doctor if you take these medicines.

Description of the Test

Your doctor may spray your throat with a local anesthetic. This will numb your throat, so you will not feel discomfort. You may also be given a sedative. This will help you to relax and reduce anxiety.

In most cases, you will lie on your left side. A thin, flexible tube, called an endoscope, will be inserted either through your throat or anus. The endoscope will have an ultrasound probe on the end of it. The ultrasound machine will create images of the digestive tract. When the imaging is done, your doctor will gently pull the endoscope out.

In some cases, the doctor might use the ultrasound to help take a biopsy or drain a cyst. If this happens, the doctor will insert tools through the endoscope to the area in question.

© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

After Test

After the test, you will recover in a special area. Your throat may be a little sore. Slight bloating is normal from the air and water that entered the digestive tract.

When you return home, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:

  • Rest when you get home.
  • When you feel ready, resume your normal diet.
  • Wait until the sedative wears off before you operate machinery, drive, or make any major decisions. You may need to wait 24 hours.
  • Take medicine as directed.

How Long Will It Take?

15-45 minutes

Will It Hurt?

EUS is slightly uncomfortable.


Your doctor may talk to you about the results right away. If you had a biopsy, it may take longer to receive results.



American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases


Canadian Association of Gastroenterology

Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada


Jacobson B, Chak A, Hoffmann B, et al. Quality indicators for endoscopic ultrasonography. American Journal of Gastroenterology. 2006;101:898-901.

Quality indicators for endoscopic ultrasonography. AHRQ National Guideline Clearinghouse website. Available at: . Published April 2006. Accessed June 16, 2009.

Understanding EUS (endoscopic ultrasonography). American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy website. Available at: . Accessed June 16, 2009.



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