Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) is an outpatient procedure used for resection of gastrointestinal mucosa for staging and treatment of neoplasms. This technique originates from Japan, where it was used for the diagnosis and treatment of EGC (early gastric cancer). Nowadays, this technique is used around the globe for various indications, including sessile colonic neoplasms and dysplastic Barrett mucosa.

Why Is EMR Performed?

It is a less invasive technique that is alternative to invasive and complicated surgeries for removing abnormal tissues. Your physician may recommend EMR to remove certain precancerous growths or early-stage cancers. Following are some of the benign and cancerous conditions that Endoscopic mucosal resection has been used to treat;

  • Colon polyps
  • Barrett’s oesophagus
  • Oesophageal cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Cancer of the small intestine (duodenum)
  • Stomach (gastric) cancer

How to prepare

Before an endoscopic mucosal resection, your physician will want to know your medical or surgical history and the drugs you are taking. The following information is necessary;

  • Whether or not you have any previous medical (especially blood-clotting disorders, lung disease, heart disease, or diabetes) or surgical history
  • The names and doses of all drugs (dietary supplements, prescription medicines or over-the-counter drugs) you are taking
  • Whether you are allergic to some specific medicine, if so, the name of the drug

What can you expect?

Three or more hours before, you will arrive at the endoscopy unit on the day of the procedure. You will register and asked about your medical and surgical history. During the procedure, your physician will insert an IV to induce sedation and place an endoscope through your mouth or your anus to observe the images of internal lining on a screen. If there is any abnormal growth, your doctor will pull the tissue through the endoscope to excise it.

Possible side effects

It is a relatively safe procedure and there are some mild side effects that may occur within 24 hours such as;

  • Reactions to the sedative e.g., nausea and vomiting.
  • Bloating or cramps (in case of rectal EMR)
  • A sore throat (in case of oesophageal EMR)
  • Oesophageal or rectal perforation
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other healthcare professional. ALWAYS check with your doctor if you have any concerns about your condition or treatment.