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Rectal Ultrasound

Rectal Ultrasound

What is a Rectal Ultrasound?

A rectal ultrasound – also known as an endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) – is a procedure that permits the physician to look at the rectum and large intestine walls. A flexible tube with a light on it is passed through your rectum and into a small portion of your large intestine. The physician will look at the tissue as he moves the tube along. In some cases a small piece of tissue (biopsy) may be removed for study.

Before the Test:

Proper preparation is very important for this test. The intestine must be completely empty for the physician to see properly. This means a special diet, laxatives and/or enemas. Your doctor will order what is right for you. Follow the instructions given to you by your physician. Plan to arrive 30 minutes before your appointment to register. When you arrive please sign in at the front desk.

**Be prepared to have someone stay with you to drive you home after the procedure since it takes several hours for the medicine to completely wear off. The procedure may not be performed is a driver is not available.


  • On the afternoon before the procedure, take three tablespoons of Milk of Magnesia
  • Your supper should be light
  • Clear liquids only until midnight
  • Nothing to drink after 12 a.m. (midnight)
  • Fleet’s enema at bedtime
  • Fleet’s enema early before coming in for your procedure

Follow your instructions carefully. If you do not, the procedure may have to be cancelled or repeated. Please feel free to call the office if you have any questions.

During the Test:

Before the procedure is started you will be given a mild sedative through a small needle placed in your hand or arm. Be sure to let the physician or nurse know if you are allergic to any medication.

You will be positioned on your left side on an examination table. The physician will pass a well-lubricated tube through your anus and into your large intestine. As the tube moves upward, air will be put into your intestine so the physician can see well. You may feel cramps and a sense of fullness. Also, the lights in the room will be turned down during the procedure to allow the physician to see well.

If the physician sees any problem areas, samples of tissue may be taken. Small growths may be removed. The removal of these small amounts of tissue is painless. This test can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes, but you will not ordinarily be ready for discharge until 2 to 2 ½ hours after you arrive.

After the Test:

You will be asked to rest until the effects of the sedative have subsided. Your doctor will discuss the results of the test with you and your support person after the procedure prior to your discharge.