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Endoscopic ultrasound

Endoscopic ultrasound is a type of imaging test. It is used to see organs in and near the digestive tract.

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Digestive system

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How the Test is Performed

Ultrasound is a way to see the inside of the body using high-frequency sound waves. Endoscopic ultrasound does this with a thin, flexible tube called an endoscope.

If a sample or biopsy is needed, a thin needle can be passed through the tube to collect fluid or tissue. This does not hurt.

The test takes 30 to 90 minutes to complete.

How to Prepare for the Test

Your health care provider will tell you what to do. You will be told when to stop drinking and eating before the test.

Give your provider a list of all the medicines you take (prescription and over-the-counter), herbs, and supplements. You will be told when you can take these. Some need to be stopped a week before the test. Ask your provider which medicines you should take on the morning of surgery.

Since you will not be able to drive or return to work on the day of this test, you will need someone to take you home.

How the Test will Feel

Before this test you will get medicine through an IV to help you relax (a sedative). You may fall asleep or not remember the test. Some people feel the test is slightly uncomfortable.

For the first hour after this test, you may feel sleepy and unable to drink or walk. You may have a sore throat. Air or carbon dioxide gas may have been put in your digestive tract during the test to move the tube more easily. This may make you feel bloated, but this feeling will go away.

When you are fully awake, you can be taken home. Rest that day. You may have fluids and light meals.

Why the Test is Performed

You may have this test to:

This test can also stage cancers of the:

Normal Results

The organs will appear normal.

What Abnormal Results Mean

The results depend on what is found during the test. If you DO NOT understand the results, or have questions or concerns, talk to your provider.

Risks

Risks for any sedation are:

Complications from this test include:

References

Huang CS, Wolfe MM. Endoscopic and imaging procedures. In: Benjamin IJ, Griggs RC, Wing EJ, Fitz JG, eds. Andreoli and Carpenter's Cecil Essentials of Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 34.

Lee LS. Endoscopic ultrasound. In: McNalley PR, ed. GI/Liver Secrets Plus. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 71.

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Upper GI Endoscopy. www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diagnostic-tests/upper-gi-endoscopy. Updated July 2017. Accessed July 19, 2018.

Pasricha PJ. Gastrointestinal endoscopy. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 134.

Samarasena JB, Chang K, Topazian M. Endoscopic ultrasound and fine-needle aspiration for pancreatic and biliary disorders. In: Chandrasekhara V, Elmunzer BJ, Khashab MA, Muthusamy VR, eds. Clinical Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 51.

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Review Date: 6/21/2018  

Reviewed By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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