Endoscopic Ultrasound (Oral): Before Your Procedure

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What is oral endoscopic ultrasound?

Oral endoscopic ultrasound is a test that lets your doctor look at the walls of your esophagus, stomach, and upper gastrointestinal tract. The test does not use X-rays or other radiation.

The doctor uses a thin, lighted tube that bends. It's called an endoscope, or scope. The scope has an ultrasound probe and camera at the tip. The doctor gently puts the scope into your mouth, down the esophagus, and into the stomach to the area to be examined. The scope can take pictures of organs. It helps look for problems in the stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and the first part of your small intestine, called the duodenum.

The procedure can take up to an hour if a sample of tissue is taken to be tested. This is called a biopsy.

You will not feel pain. You may go home after your doctor checks to make sure you are not having any problems.

How do you prepare for the procedure?

Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.

Preparing for the procedure

  • You will be given instructions on when you need to stop eating and drinking before the test.
  • Be sure you have someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
  • Understand exactly what procedure is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
  • Tell your doctor ALL the medicines, vitamins, supplements, and herbal remedies you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your procedure. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the procedure and how soon to do it.
  • If you take a medicine that prevents blood clots, your doctor may tell you to stop taking it before your procedure. Or your doctor may tell you to keep taking it. (These medicines include aspirin and other blood thinners.) Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
  • Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance directive. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It's a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.

What happens on the day of the procedure?

  • Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If you don't, your procedure may be canceled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of the procedure, take them with only a sip of water.
    Take a bath or shower before you come in for your procedure. Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.
    Take off all jewelry and piercings. And take out contact lenses, if you wear them.

At the hospital or surgery center

  • Bring a picture ID.
    The doctor may spray medicine on the back of your throat to numb it.
    You will lie on your left side.
    You also will get medicine to prevent pain and to relax you. This medicine may make you sleep.
    The doctor will put the scope in your mouth and toward the back of your throat. If you are not asleep, the doctor will tell you when to swallow. This helps the scope move down your throat. You will be able to breathe normally. The doctor will move the scope down your esophagus into your stomach.
    If your doctor wants to take a sample of tissue for biopsy, they may use small surgical tools. These are put into the scope to cut off some tissue. You will not feel a biopsy, if one is taken. The doctor can also use the tools to stop bleeding, if needed.
    The doctor will send puffs of air through the tube to see better. This may make you feel bloated, and you may feel cramps. This feeling does not last long.
    You may feel some bloating or cramping as the tube is moved. If you feel a lot of discomfort, you can alert the doctor with an agreed-upon signal or a tap on the arm.
    You will stay at the hospital or surgery center for 1 to 2 hours until the medicine you were given wears off.

When should you call your doctor?

  • You have questions or concerns.
  • You don't understand how to prepare for your procedure.
  • You become ill before the procedure (such as fever, flu, or a cold).
  • You need to reschedule or have changed your mind about having the procedure.

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.