Echoendoscopy: What is it? What is it for? Preparation, Procedure, Advantages and Risks

This technique allows obtaining precise and much clearer images of the layers of the wall that make up the digestive tract.

It is a method or resource of medical study composed of an endoscope and an ultrasound device that facilitates an efficient diagnosis of some conditions and the possibility of applying some treatments.

It is usually a complex technique to analyze, so it must be done by a specialist doctor to ensure that the results are correct.

What is Echoendoscopy for?

It is usually used to examine everything in the anal and digestive ducts. The examination begins from the opening of the anus to 30 cm or more inside.

Echoendoscopy is very useful when you must examine:

  • The last part of the large intestine.
  • The walls of the rectum.
  • Pelvis.
  • The anal sphincters.
  • The anal canal or duct.

If the specialist doctor deems it necessary, he can examine specific organs such as:



  • Seminal vesicles.
  • Prostate.


  • Part of the uterus.
  • Vagina.
  • Ovaries

Other organs that are often difficult to evaluate can also be examined without resorting to aggressive or surgical procedures, such as:

  • Bladder.
  • Urethra.
  • Part of the floor of the peritoneal cavity close to the rectum.

Most of these evaluations are performed to rule out malignant or benign tumors or advanced cancer in:

  • Right.
  • Year.
  • Last section of the large intestine.
  • The genitourinary area through the pelvis.

Other functions of Echoendoscopy is the follow-up or discovery of:

  • Perianal abscesses.
  • Anal pain
  • Incontinence study.
  • Pelvic pain.
  • Pelvic abscesses.

Echoendoscopy is functional for the follow-up of radiotherapeutic or chemical treatments indicated in patients with diseases that warrant it.


To perform the procedure correctly, the colon must be as clean as possible; in this way, the potential damage is avoided, the image quality is guaranteed and the obtaining of a biopsy if the case requires it.

In general terms, the procedure is similar to or equal to a colonoscopy, where the patient must be laid down on a stretcher and anesthetized to perform the study properly.

This procedure is usually not painful unless the anus is previously inflamed.

Advantages of an endoscopic ultrasound

Thanks to the efficiency of this method, several advantages can be obtained, among which we can mention:

  • Detect early tumors in the lymph nodes, the most common site for these types of conditions.
  • Small samples can be obtained from tumors lodged in the rectal and pelvic areas.
  • Doctors receive detailed information to achieve an accurate and correct diagnosis.
  • Echoendoscopy allows the precise evaluation of areas of the body that were previously more complex to study or that the examinations were not exact in determining precisely the type of condition that the patient suffered.


This type of study does not present serious side effects or risks because it is a minimally invasive technique; however, the following can be mentioned:

  • Pain during or after the procedure in the anal duct. And the probabilities are more significant when the patient suffers from hemorrhoids, abscesses, or anal fissures, among other conditions.
  • Perforation in the anal canal.
  • Infection or internal bleeding after the procedure is finished.

How should the patient prepare for an Echoendoscopy?

Before the patient undergoes an Echoendoscopy, the following must be done:

  • Suppose the Echoendoscopy is for the revision of the upper part of the digestive tract. In that case, the patient must maintain fast food and drinks for at least 6 hours to ensure that the area is as clean as possible, and thus, the images come out in the perfect condition.
  • On the other hand, if the revision will be carried out through the lower part of the digestive tract, the patient must ingest laxatives that allow cleaning the large intestine before undergoing the procedure.

What should the patient do after the exam?

You should wait for the effects of the anesthesia to pass before leaving the medical center; preferably, you should be accompanied by a family member or an acquaintance to help you in any unforeseen event.

It would help if you did not eat or drink for at least one to two hours after the Echoendoscopy to prevent possible nausea or vomiting caused by the side effects of anesthesia.

The patient is strictly prohibited from ingesting alcoholic beverages in the first 24 hours after the procedure to avoid side effects that affect their usual rhythm of life.

If the patient presents acute or severe pain after the Echoendoscopy and it prevails or increases in the days, you should immediately contact your specialist doctor to determine the causes of the condition and treat it in time if necessary.