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Gastrointestinal endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) & Endoscopic submucosal dissection are procedures to remove precancerous, early-stage cancer or other abnormal tissues from the digestive tract.

Why and when is it done

EMR and ESD are less invasive alternatives to surgery for removing abnormal tissues from the lining of the digestive tract.

These tissues may be:

  • Early-stage cancer
  • Precancerous lesions, which may become cancerous

Benefits of EMR & ESD

  • Minimally invasive procedure performed entirely through an endoscope resulting in faster recovery and shorter stays
  • They enable the removal of lesions while preserving the integrity of the gastrointestinal tract
  • They not only allow for the removal of lesions but also provide a diagnostic and staging capability.
  • They have shown high success rates in achieving complete removal of superficial gastrointestinal lesions
  • Compared to more invasive procedures, EMR/ESD carry a lower risk of complications.
  • They allow for the removal of precancerous lesions or early-stage cancers that are confined to the superficial layers of the gastrointestinal lining.

Risks associated with EMR & ESD

Risks of the endoscopic mucosal resection include:

  • Bleeding
  • Narrowing of the esophagus
  • Puncture (perforation) through the wall of the digestive tract

How is the procedure performed

A common approach includes these steps:

  • Inserting the endoscope and guiding the tip to the area of concern
  • Injecting a fluid under a lesion to create a cushion between the lesion and healthy tissue underneath it
  • Lifting the lesion, possibly using gentle suction
  • Cutting the lesion to separate it from surrounding healthy tissue
  • Removing the abnormal tissue from your body
  • Marking the area with ink (tattoo) so that it can be found again with future endoscopic exams