Frequently Asked Questions

What happens during an EUS?

During an EUS, you will lie on your side and the doctor passes the endoscope through the mouth, esophagus and stomach and into the duodenum. (For a rectal ultrasound, the tube will be inserted through your rectum) The tube will not affect your ability to breathe normally.  Once in place, the ultrasound probe at the end of the endoscope uses sound waves to create images of the pancreas and surrounding structures.
Usually, the EUS procedure lasts 15 to 45 minutes.

What complications can occur with an EUS?

Complications are very rare, but they include infection of a pancreatic cyst, pancreatitis, gastrointestinal bleeding, tearing from the endoscope, reactions to anesthesia medications and sore throat for a day or more. 

What should I do to prepare for an EUS?

In general, the patient will not be allowed to eat or drink anything before the examination. (Please refer to the instructions that will be given to you). You may have to stop or adjust certain medication prior to your procedure. You will be given specific information regarding these medications.

What can I expect before an EUS?

You will be asked to report to the report to the Endoscopy Unit an hour prior to your scheduled time. Upon entering the Endoscopy Unit, the nurse will start an IV in your arm. The doctor will speak with you prior to the EUS. He or she will explain the procedure and its risks. You will then be asked to sign an informed consent given your permission and understanding of the procedure.

What can I expect during an EUS?

Just before the EUS, the patient will receive sedative medication through the IV in the arm.  Since sedative medications are used, the patient should prepare in advance to have someone else drive him/her home after the procedure.  EUS is performed under heavy conscious sedation. Most patients are asleep during the procedure and experience little or no discomfort.

What can I expect after an EUS?

After the EUS procedure is completed, the patient will remain in the recovery room until the sedative medication has worn off, about an hour.  The patient should not drive a vehicle after receiving sedative medication.  It is not unusual for the patient to experience a feeling of fullness or the need to pass gas after the procedure.  The healthcare team will provide instructions regarding eating and drinking following an EUS procedure.

The doctor will speak with you once you are awake to discuss his/her findings and recommendation. Since you may still be under the effects of the sedation, it is generally recommended that a family member or person of your choosing is present to hear the discussion with the doctor.

What happens if a FNA or biopsy is done?

If a FNA or biopsy is taken, the sample will be sent to the Pathology Department for analysis by a Pathologist. In general, it will take 2-3 working days for the final results. If a fluid is obtained from a cystic lesion, the fluid is often sent off for chemical analysis and the results may take longer to return.

When the final results are obtained, you doctor will contact you with the results and further recommendations.