Endoscopic mucosal resection
Endoscopic mucosal resection
Gastrointestinal endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) is a procedure to remove cancerous or other abnormal tissues (lesions) from the digestive tract.
Endoscopic mucosal resection is performed with a long, narrow tube equipped with a light, video camera and other instruments. During endoscopic mucosal resection of the upper digestive tract, the tube (endoscope) is passed down your throat to reach an abnormality in your esophagus, stomach or upper part of the small intestine (duodenum).
When endoscopic mucosal resection is used to remove lesions from the colon, the tube is guided up through the anus.
Although endoscopic mucosal resection is primarily a treatment procedure, it's also used to collect tissues for use in diagnosis. If cancer is present, EMR can help determine if the cancer has invaded tissues beneath the digestive tract lining.
Why it's done
Endoscopic mucosal resection is a less invasive alternative to surgery for removing abnormal tissues from the lining of the digestive tract. These tissues may be:
Endoscopic mucosal resection is usually performed by a specialist in digestive system disorders (gastroenterologist) who has expertise in this technique.
Risks of the endoscopic mucosal resection include:
Call your doctor or get emergency care if you experience any of the following signs or symptoms after undergoing endoscopic mucosal resection:
How you prepare
Before you have endoscopic mucosal resection, you'll be asked to provide the following information:
Your doctor may make changes to your medication routine, such as temporarily stopping some blood-thinning medications.
Before the procedure
You'll also sign an informed consent document giving your doctor permission to perform the procedure after the risks and benefits have been explained to you.
What you can expect
There are a few different versions of endoscopic mucosal resection. Ask your gastroenterologist about how your procedure will be performed. A common approach includes these steps:
During the procedure
After the procedure
Relatively mild side effects may occur within the first 24 hours after the procedure. These may include:
You'll also receive written instructions about when to call your doctor or get emergency care after the procedure. The following signs or symptoms may indicate a serious complication from endoscopic mucosal resection:
You'll likely have a follow-up appointment with the gastroenterologist to discuss the outcome of your endoscopic mucosal resection and laboratory tests performed on lesion samples. Questions to ask include the following:
An exam will likely include a visual inspection with the use of an endoscope. Your doctor may mark the area of the removed lesion with ink (tattoo) so that when follow-up endoscopy is performed, he or she can be sure the lesion was removed completely.
Last Updated: 2011-09-29
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