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  • Dr. Erhart and Dr. Heer in the waiting area

    Endoscopic ultrasound (upper and rectal endoscopic ultrasound)

    What you need to know:

Dear Patient,

You have been referred to us by your doctor for an upper or rectal endoscopic ultrasound. We would like to explain how this procedure works and what you need to know as a patient:

Endoscopic ultrasound is also called internal ultrasound and is suitable for investigation possible changes in the oesophagus, stomach, duodenum and rectum as well as in the surrounding tissue and organs such as the pancreas, gall bladder and lymph nodes. For example, endoscopic ultrasound can better differentiate gall stones in the bile duct and subjacent tumours. It is also used with an extremely fine needle to take samples of cells or fluid from the suspicious tissue.

In preparation:

Similarly for a gastroscopy, you need to have an empty stomach during an upper endoscopic ultrasound. This means that you may only have a light evening meal on the evening before your examination and no food until after your appointment. Drinking is permitted until midnight before your examination. For six hours before a lower endoscopic ultrasound you must not eat any solid food. You must not drink anything in the four hours before.
Please bring a list of all the medication you take regularly to the appointment. If you take blood-thinning medication, you need to advise us of this at least one week in advance. If you inject yourself with insulin, you should omit the dose before the examination and bring the result of a finger prick blood test. If you are unsure about anything, please get in touch with us.


You can expect your appointment to last about 1.5–2 hours if you are coming for an endoscopic ultrasound. After a preliminary discussion with the doctor, your examination will take place in the endoscopy room and last about 30 minutes.

In an upper endoscopic ultrasound, the specialist uses a flexible tube (endoscope), which is fitted with a lens and ultrasound probe at one end. The endoscope is passed into your mouth.

For a lower endoscopic ultrasound, we will give you a small enema or suppository about 20 minutes before the examination to ensure the lower digestive tract is ideally prepared for the investigation. A thin ultrasound probe will then be introduced in the lower digestive tract.

Both examinations are usually performed under anaesthesia (propofol), which means you will be asleep for the procedure. You will wake up quickly after the examination and can rest in the recovery room before having a follow-up discussion with the doctor and returning home. Please note that you must not drive or operate machinery following this procedure. Please therefore arrange for someone to collect you at the end of your appointment.

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