Endoscopic Muscosal Resection

What is Endoscopic Mucosal Resection?

Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) is an outpatient procedure that lets physicians remove tumors just beneath the gastrointestinal (GI) wall without surgery. Using an endoscope, a flexible, tube-like instrument, our gastroenterologists (physicians who specialize in treating the GI tract) can see inside the body with a high degree of detail. At the same time, they can remove growths such as upper GI or colon polyps that might otherwise require surgery.

Most patients return home the same day. Because there is no incision, you may recover faster, and with less pain than from open or laparoscopic surgery.

Endoscopic mucosal resection is a less invasive alternative to surgery for removing abnormal tissues from the lining of the digestive tract. Your doctor may recommend the procedure to remove certain early-stage cancers or precancerous growths.

What Are The Advantages of Endoscopic Mucosal Resection?

Endoscopic mucosal resection is a less invasive alternative to surgery for removing abnormal tissues from the lining of the digestive tract. Your doctor may recommend the procedure to remove certain early-stage cancers or precancerous growths.

Some of the conditions that EMR has been used to treat include:

  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • Cancer of the small intestine (duodenum)
  • Colon polyps
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Noncancerous growths of the uterus (leiomyomas)
  • Stomach (gastric) cancer

What are the risks of Endoscopic Mucosal Resection?

Risks of endoscopic mucosal resection include:

  • Bleeding. This most common complication often can be detected and corrected during the procedure.
  • Puncture (perforation). There is a slight risk of a puncture through the wall of the digestive tract, depending on the size and location of the lesion that is removed.
  • Narrowing of the esophagus. Removing certain esophagus lesions increases the risk of scarring that narrows the esophagus, which may lead to difficulty swallowing and require further treatment.

Call your doctor or get emergency care if you develop any of the following signs or symptoms after you have an endoscopic mucosal resection:

When Will I Get The Results Of My Endoscopic Mucosal Resection?

You’ll have a follow-up appointment with the gastroenterologist to discuss the outcome of your endoscopic mucosal resection and the results of any laboratory tests performed on tissue samples. Questions to ask your doctor include:

  • Were you able to remove all abnormal tissue?
  • What were the results of the laboratory tests? Do I have cancer?
  • Do I need to see a cancer specialist (oncologist)?
  • If I have cancer, will I need additional treatments?
  • How will you monitor my condition?

Typically, you will have another upper endoscopy or colonoscopy several months after your procedure to be sure the entire lesion is gone. During your first procedure, your doctor may mark the area of the removed lesion with ink (tattoo) so that the area can be easily checked during any future exams. The needs for additional appointments depend on the results of these findings.