An EUS is a procedure that uses sound waves to take pictures of the pancreas, bile duct and digestive tract. An endoscope is a thin, lighted tube. It enters the patient’s mouth and is passed down through the stomach and into the first part of the small intestine (duodenum). A miniature ultrasound probe in the scope allows your specialist to examine the deeper layers of the stomach wall as well as surrounding organs including the liver, pancreas and bile ducts. An EUS is usually performed in hospital while under anesthesia.
It is crucial for the safety and accuracy of the procedure that your stomach is completely empty. Avoid eating or drinking 6 hours prior to your EUS.
Whilst most medications can be taken as usual with a sip of water on the day of your procedure, some medications need to be stopped, or have their dose altered.
You should notify your doctor at least 7 days prior to your procedure if you are taking:
Please bring your referral, a full list of your medications and your medicare card/private health fund information on the day of your procedure.
After registering at reception, you will be met by your gastroenterologist and an anaesthetist who will discuss your medical history and explain the procedure. You will then be given a light anaesthetic (sedative). While this is not a full anaesthetic, most patients are very comfortable during the procedure and experience no pain. Once sedated and lying in a comfortable position on your left side, the endoscope is passed through your mouth and into your stomach. The procedure lasts between 15 and 20 mins.
Following the procedure you will be monitored in the recovery area until most of the anesthesia has worn off. You will then be offered something to eat and drink. Because of the sedative, it is essential that you have a friend or relative take you home and stay with you for several hours. It is strongly recommended that you do not drive or operate machinery on the day of your procedure.
EUS complications are very rare. Most are mild and include a sore throat, abdominal discomfort caused by retained air in the stomach.
More serious complications that often require hospitilisation include
Pancreatitis (pancreatic swelling) ONLY if samples are taken