Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) is a specialized endoscopic technique used to diagnose and remove large areas of early cancers arising in the gastrointestinal tract, specifically in the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon. An instrument attached to the tip of an endoscope passes through the mouth, where a gastroenterologist can suction small nodules or growths and trap them in a small rubber band. This tissue is then removed using an instrument that cuts the tissue out.
What is it?
EMR is a minimally invasive procedure that focuses on removing cancerous tissue from the gastrointestinal tract. This surgery can be performed from both sides of the gastrointestinal tract and requires no incisions.
How to prepare?
The patient may be asked to refrain from taking certain medications, such as blood thinners. Eating or drinking is not permitted after midnight prior to the procedure. The patient also may be asked to cleanse his or her colon by taking laxatives. Transportation accommodations should be made, given that sedatives impair the ability to drive.
What happens during the process?
During EMR, the patient will be sedated, but will remain awake during the procedure so that he or she is drowsy and relaxed. A local anesthetic is then be used to numb the throat. The patient may still feel some parts of the procedure, but there should not be any pain. Next, the doctor inserts a tube either down the throat or up the anus. The tube contains a camera, giving doctors the ability to see inside and to remove the cancerous tissue. After the procedure, the patient should allow for a day of recovery before returning to normal activities.
Risks and Complications:
EMR comes with associated risks, that include, but are not limited to excessive bleeding, narrowing of the esophagus, and puncturing the wall of the digestive tract.
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