Endoscopic ultrasound

An endoscopic ultrasound is an examination of the esophagus, stomach, or duodenum through the mouth, by using an ultrasound machine attached to a flexible tube (scope).

Tissue test

This exam can help us find out whether your tumor has grown into other tissue, and allows us to see its vascular pattern, and potential lymph nodes. We can also take tissue biopsies with a hollow needle through the scope for further analysis.

What to expect

An Endoscopic ultrasound - how does it work?

You will have to lie down on the exam table on your left side to allow for the scope to enter. 

We will place a ring between your jaws and place the scope in the back of your throat. You will need to swallow several times while we lead the tube through your throat into the esophagus. This may feel uncomfortable, but will only last several seconds. 

The tube will move slightly during the examination. You may experience some discomfort. For a better view of your stomach lining, we will fill your stomach with water, unless we intend to take biopsies. These needle biopsies won’t cause any discomfort or pain. 


Please do not or drink between midnight and the time of your procedure. The only exception is the little bit of water needed to take your medication. If you take blood thinners or medication for diabetes, your doctor will tell you which drugs you can still take before the procedure.


If you would like, we can give you a local anesthetic; a spray that will numb the mucus membrane in the throat so you won’t feel the tube move as much. It leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, but suppresses the gag reflex. If you are anxious about the procedure, we can give you a sedative. The water we  may pump into the stomach can cause bloating and burping.

After the procedure

Your physician will discuss the results of the with you directly after the prodecure. It will take 10 weekdays for the results of the tissue biopsies to come in. Your physician will discuss the results with you during your next consultation. 

Bring support

If you were given a sedative during the procedure, you will need to spend an hour in the recovery room. You will not be allowed to drive. We recommend bringing someone with you who can take you home. If you received a numbing spray, you cannot eat for 1.5 hours after the procedure due to an increased risk of choking. 

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