EMR for removing abnormal digestive tissue

Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) and endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) are related techniques. These techniques combine the use of an endoscope, a long, thin lighted tube with a camera and specialized tools, to treat precancerous lesions or early cancer found in the lining of the esophagus (including Barrett’s esophagus), stomach, duodenum, intestine, or colon. EMR and ESD offer a safe, effective alternative to surgery by allowing the endoscopist to access and remove areas of diseased tissue as well as collect tissue for sampling.

How endoscopic mucosal resection is done

The EMR is often performed by a gastroenterologist who inserts the endoscope into the gastrointestinal (GI) tract either through the mouth to reach into the esophagus, stomach or upper intestine, or through the anus to reach into the colon. From within the GI tract, the doctor is able to “suction” abnormal lumps or nodules and “resect” or cut away the diseased areas. The doctor may also use the endoscope to take samples of tissue for additional testing.

EMR is an outpatient procedure during which you are heavily sedated or under general anesthesia (sleeping). The procedure takes only about 30 minutes and in most cases you are able to return to work and regular activities within 24 hours. Some diet restrictions may be recommended for the first few days after the EMR.

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