What is EUS?
Endoscopic Ultrasonography (EUS) is a highly sensitive detection procedure that utilizes ultrasound (sound waves) or echo-endoscopy, usually performed for the upper digestive system.  A probe no larger than the index finger is inserted into the upper digestive tract.  The upper digestive tract is comprised of the  esophagus, stomach, duodenum.  This procedure is used to detect pancreatic cancer, esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, tumors of the upper gastrointestinal tract and occasionally malformations and abnormal masses in bile and pancreatic ducts.  This advanced procedure allows us to identify inflammation, malignancy,  focal lesions and perform biopsies.  The liver, pancreas, adrenal glands and abnormal lymph nodes are easily biopsied by fine needle aspiration.

What Can I Expect During the Procedure?
Patients receiving EUS are sedated for the procedure.  The endoscope is passed through the mouth to the area of interest.  The ultrasound creates images from various positions within and outside the gastrointestinal tract.

You will be asked to fast for a period of time or maintain a liquid diet for a few days before the procedure to ensure an empty stomach necessary for a safe and proper examination.  You may expect to receive a sedative and local anesthetic for your throat to help you relax and might receive antibiotics before the procedure. As you lay your left side down on an X-ray table, the doctor will pass the endoscope through your mouth, esophagus, stomach and into the duodenum. The instrument will not obstruct your breathing, but may create a bloating sensation due to air introduced by the instrument.

What Are Possible Complications of EUS?
For 7 Hill patients, ERCP is a tolerable out-patient procedure performed by our specially trained and experienced doctors. Complications requiring hospitalization are rare and may include  infections, bowel perforation and bleeding. Most complications are managed without surgery and some patients may have adverse reactions to the sedative used.

Risks vary, depending upon your situation.  Ask your doctor about your potential risks and rewards based on the tests performed, what is sought during the procedure, and necessary therapeutic intervention to be undertaken and how this may related to existing major medical problems. The risk of complications is lower in diagnostic ERCP as compared to therapeutic (such as for stone removal).  You will discuss with 7 Hill doctors your likelihood of complications before you undergo the test.

What Can I Expect After ERCP?
Patients must be accompanied home from the outpatient procedure due to the sedatives used which may affect your judgment and relax your body for the rest of the day.  You may experience bloating or gas because of the air introduced during the examination. Unless otherwise instructed, you may resume your usual diet.

Let your doctor know about all medications you take regularly, any allergies you may have to medications and if you have heart or lung conditions, or other major diseases.  As a patient, you must make arrangements to have someone take you home from the outpatient procedure due to the sedatives used which may affect your judgment and relax your body for the rest of the day.