What is it?

This test combines endoscopy with internal ultrasound of the digestive system. It may be performed along with Doppler ultrasound and, if necessary, a biopsy. It is a safe procedure that is well tolerated.

It is possible to perform an endoscopic ultrasound on various organs:

  • Oesophagus/stomach/pancreas
    During the examination, a flexible tube fitted with a video camera and an ultrasound probe is inserted through the mouth. The test provides detailed information about the bile ducts, gallbladder, pancreas, liver, stomach and oesophagus.
  • Rectum
    During the examination, a flexible tube fitted with a video camera and ultrasound probe is inserted into the anus. The test provides detailed information about the end of the large intestine (rectum).

If your physician recommends an endoscopic ultrasound and you refuse this test, it could lead to a late-stage or advanced diagnosis with possibly serious consequences and to non-optimal treatment.

Things to think about

Make sure to let us know about:

  • pregnancy
  • allergy, sensitivity or intolerance (e.g. latex, Lidocaine)
  • clotting problems or use of blood thinners (e.g. Marevan, Sintrom, Marcoumar, Ticlid, Plavix, Pradaxa, Xarelto, Aspirin)
  • artificial valve or prosthetic: some patients require antibiotics before and after the procedure
  • epilepsy, diabetes, chronic heart, lung and kidney disorders: special attention to medication required

If in doubt, do not hesitate to ask for an explanation.

When?

The decision to perform this test is made based on a baseline investigation of your symptoms, a clinical examination, laboratory tests and, if indicated, additional tests such as an ultrasound, endoscopy or an CT or MRI scan.

Course of the procedure

Endoscopic ultrasound of the oesophagus, stomach, pancreas

Preparation

  • Please arrive at the hospital fasting (for a minimum of six hours). If the test is performed in the afternoon, you may eat a light breakfast (sandwich with jam or cheese spread) before 7:00 a.m.
  • Do not smoke on the day of the procedure, and smoke as little as possible in the preceding days.
  • Do not take any antacids such as Maalox, Gaviscon on the day before the test.
  • Ask for specific guidelines if you have diabetes, epilepsy, chronic heart, lung or kidney disorders or if you take blood thinners.
  • Leave removable dentures in your room. Damage to teeth (higher risk if teeth are in a poor condition) cannot be ruled out during an endoscopy or anaesthesia.

Follow any further instructions on the ticket you receive at the e-kiosk.

Safety and hygiene

We are an experienced and well-trained team, equipped with a modern infrastructure. The anaesthetic is administered by an anaesthetist.

The procedure is performed in an endoscopy room that is fitted with all the necessary anaesthesia equipment and endoscopy instruments. Before and after every examination, each endoscope is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected in an automatic cleaning and disinfection machine in a controlled procedure. Our disinfection protocols meet European standards.

Process

  • The test is performed under anaesthesia because it can last for quite a long time and because the test requires the patient's optimal cooperation.
  • An IV will be placed in one of your arm veins to administer medication.

After the test

You will wake up in the recovery room. You will then be transferred to the day hospital.

After the procedure, you may experience throat irritation, mild drowsiness or dizziness (as a result of the anaesthesia). You may also have some mild abdominal bloating. This usually disappears by itself.

If you choose anaesthesia, you are not allowed to drive home on your own and you will need to take a day off work. Do not plan any important activities after the procedure. Your concentration and judgement may be diminished.

Endoscopic ultrasound of the rectum.

Preparation

Please register 30 minutes before the test with your identification card using the e-kiosk in the atrium. Follow any further instructions on the ticket you receive at the e-kiosk.

Endoscopic ultrasound of the rectum requires limited preparation. You will be given a gentle enema by one of our endoscopy nurses.

Leave removable dentures in your room. Damage to teeth (higher risk if teeth are in a poor condition) cannot be ruled out during an endoscopy or anaesthesia.

Process

You will lie on your left side for the test. Patients are not asleep for an endoscopic ultrasound of the rectum.

After the test

You will undergo the test as an outpatient (so without hospital admission).

Possible risks

In principle, complications hardly ever occur. A very rare complication is perforation of the stomach or oesophagus. In that case, you will need surgery.

Bleeding as a result of endoscopic ultrasound is rare and can usually be treated without the need for surgery.

Contact us if you have the following symptoms after the procedure:

  • persistent severe pain
  • fever
  • blood loss (red or black stools)
  • any concerning symptom

Centres and specialist areas

Digestive Centre

Latest publication date: 06/07/2021
Supervising author: Dr Vanderstraeten Erik