What is EUS (Endoscopic Ultrasound)
Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) is a procedure in which endoscopy is combined with ultrasound to obtain images of the internal organs in the chest and abdomen. It can be used to visualize the walls of these organs, or to look at adjacent structures. Combined with doppler imaging, nearby blood vessels can also be evaluated. Endoscopic ultrasonography is most commonly used in the upper digestive tract and in the respiratory system. Often the consultant will sample tissue such as lymph nodes or areas of the pancreas using instruments that are passed through the gastroscope, these are collected and sent to the laboratory for tests.
What Can I expect?
In the examination room you will be made comfortable on a couch, lying on your left side. A nurse will stay with you throughout the test. You will be sedated for this procedure, this will make you relaxed and sleepy. Our consultant will then insert a small flexible tube (gastroscope) into your mouth through your stomach and into the first part of your small bowel. This will not cause you any pain, nor will it interfere with your breathing at any time. The stomach will be gently inflated by passing air to expand it so that the lining can be seen more clearly.
The air will be sucked out at the end of the test. If you get a lot of saliva in your mouth, the nurse will gently suck it out. The test usually takes less than 30 minutes. When the test is finished, the gastroscope is removed quickly and easily after the examination
Are there any risks?
EUS is a very safe examination, but rarely problems can occur. The most important are:
Perforation – this is a small tear in the lining of the oesophagus (the gullet) or stomach, which can happen during the test. It may not need treating at all, but could require surgery, in which case you would need to stay in hospital.
Bleeding is rare after an EUS. If you think you might be bleeding please contact your GP, the Endoscopy Centre or your local Accident and Emergency department.
After the Test
As you have had sedation, you will feel sleepy. The nurses will advise you when you can eat and drink.It will take some time for the sedation to where off during which you will stay in the department.
You will have been sedated as a part of the test so it is essential that someone collects you to take you home. Once home, it is important to rest quietly for the remainder of the day. Sedation lasts longer than you think.
For 24 hours after your test you should not:
- drive a car
- operate machinery
- drink alcohol
The effects of the test and sedation should have worn off by the next day, when most patients are able to resume normal activities.