Transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM) for early stage cancer

Rectal lesions, polyps, and some early stage cancers can be treated with transanal resection and transanal endoscopic microsurgery (TEM). TEM is a minimally invasive technique that involves passing an endoscope through the anus. The endoscope is equipped with tiny microsurgical instruments, which allow the surgeon to remove cancerous tissue and other abnormal growths without the need for full abdominal surgery and without making any cuts in the skin.

What’s involved in transanal endoscopic microsurgery

TEM is performed while you’re under general anesthesia (sleeping). The surgeon uses low-pressure gas to distend your rectum, making it easier to move around within the cavity and more easily view and access problem areas. Once a tumor or lesion is removed, the surgeon can stitch the area while still working endoscopically. Recovery from TEM is usually brief, and you’ll be able to return quickly to daily activities with less pain, less bleeding and less risk of infection than with traditional surgery.

Main Line Health legacy and leadership with TEM

Main Line Health surgeons were the first to perform local excision (removal) of rectal cancer using TEM after preoperative radiation. Main Line Health is one of two TEM training centers in the United States and we serve as a teaching center for surgeons nationally and internationally. We are also proud to be the headquarters of the International Network of Comprehensive Rectal Cancer Centers.

To schedule an appointment with a specialist at Main Line Health, call 1.866.CALL.MLH (1.866.225.5654) or use our secure online appointment request form.