Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS) in Illinois

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What is an endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)?

An EUS (endoscopic ultrasound) is an endoscopic procedure where a GI specialist inserts a thin scope through the mouth and into the small intestine or rectum. The scope, which has a light and camera on it, helps the provider examine the esophagus, stomach, the first portion of the small intestine, and/or the rectum. Additionally, the scope has an ultrasound probe, allowing the provider to look at the different layers of the intestinal wall and other organs. An EUS is often performed to detect abnormalities in the intestinal wall or organs such as the pancreas, biliary system, and chest, or to determine cancer stages. If you've been experiencing discomfort or other symptoms related to your GI tract, an EUS at GI Alliance of Illinois can help you find the relief you need. For more information or to request a consultation, contact your nearest Chicago, IL, Peoria, IL, or Normal, IL, location today.

There are a number of reasons why your GI Alliance of Illinois provider would suggest an endoscopic ultrasound, including to:

  • Study tumors or abnormalities in the gallbladder, liver, and more
  • Evaluate sarcoidosis
  • Study nodules in the intestinal wall
  • Evaluate stages of cancer
  • Assess Barrett’s esophagus
  • Evaluate pancreatic disorders
  • Evaluate bile duct stones
  • Study lower rectum and anal canal muscles to detect the cause of fecal incontinence

Prior to your procedure, we will give you detailed instructions on preparing for your EUS. You will likely be able to eat normally the day before your exam but will need to stop taking anything by mouth after midnight aside from medication. We will provide particular instructions, however, regarding medications, particularly for those taking blood thinners and diabetics.

We will ask you to arrive for your procedure about 1 – 1.5 hours early so you can fill out paperwork and get prepped for the exam. We'll have you change into a medical gown and insert an IV catheter into your arm for sedation administration. You will also be connected to state-of-the-art technology, which will allow our team to monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, pulse, oxygen, and more during your exam.

After you settle into your exam room, we'll have you lay on your left side while we start the sedation. The sedation will start slow to ensure you don't have any reactions and only receive the amount you need. From there, the endoscope will be entered into your mouth and snaked through the esophagus, stomach, and first portion of the small intestine (duodenum). We will shoot a small amount of air through the endoscope to help your provider get a better view of your GI tract. If there is remaining fluid, it will be suctioned out. Depending on what we find, we may perform a biopsy, remove polyps, or something else. After we're done, we will suction out as much of the remaining air and fluid as we can. Depending on our findings, an EUS takes between 30 – 60 minutes.

One of our team members will take you to a private recovery area where you can rest while the sedation wears off. The more sedation you require, the longer this process will take. Many of our patients are able to be released after about 45 – 60 minutes. It's important to bring a friend or family member with you. You will need someone to drive you home, as you won't be able to drive the remainder of the day. You also will not be able to sign legal documents, participate in physical activity, or work. You should be able to eat like normal, although we may give you specific instructions regarding medications.

After your endoscopic ultrasound, we'll go over the findings with you. We encourage you to bring a trusted friend or family member with you, as you may not remember all of the details following your procedure. We will also give you written information for you to look back on in the coming days. If a biopsy was necessary, those results are typically available within a week.

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EUS procedures are typically very safe. Generally, complications occur in less than 1 percent of cases and they are often non-life-threatening. There are times, however, in the rare case a complication does occur, that hospitalization or surgery may be necessary. Prior to your exam, we will have you review and sign a consent form regarding this information, so you can ask any questions or bring up any concerns you may have at that time.

It is also possible to have a reaction to the sedation. This can include allergic reactions, difficulty breathing, blood pressure issues, irritation of the vein, and more.

In very rare cases, fine-needle aspiration and biopsies can lead to bleeding. It's unlikely, but if significant bleeding occurs, hospitalization or a blood transfusion may be necessary.

Additionally, there is a small chance that the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, or rectum could be punctured. While this may be recognized immediately during the exam, it may not be obvious until later in the day. If this happens, surgery and/or hospitalization will likely be required.

It is very important that the patient contact the doctor’s office immediately if symptoms arise after the procedure such as worsening abdominal pain, bleeding, or fever.

If you experience a fever, bleeding, or worsening abdominal pain after your procedure, please contact your Illinois location immediately. Like any other procedure, endoscopic ultrasounds are not perfect and there is a small chance that abnormalities, including cancer, can be missed during the exam. This is why follow-up is vital, particularly if you experience new or persistent symptoms.


Alternative exams available for an endoscopic ultrasound will vary based on the reason for the EUS. Generally, the EUS is the best way to evaluate and treat GI tract abnormalities. However, CT scans, MRIs, and transabdominal ultrasounds may be used to determine GI tract issues. These are only diagnostic exams, however.

If you have gastrointestinal issues, GI Alliance of Illinois may suggest an endoscopic ultrasound to evaluate and treat your symptoms. Part of the nation's leading physician-led network of GI specialists, GI Alliance of Illinois aims to always use state-of-the-art technologies to provide leading-edge treatment for GI tract disorders and diseases. If you suspect you need an endoscopic ultrasound or any other diagnostic exam, contact your nearest Illinois location to request a consultation.

Dr. Robinson was very professional and patient!

L.P. Google

Everything was very good Dr. Cahill was fantastic. Very informative and patient

B.G. Google

Great service

D.R. Google

I received pleasant, friendly and efficient care and service. The staff started the procedure precisely at the time it was scheduled.

J.B. Google

Kind, knowledgeable and straight to the point doctor

M.F. Google


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