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Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR)

EMR is a procedure that lets your doctor remove abnormal tissue from the digestive tract with a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure rather than by a more invasive surgical procedure. EMRs can be performed on lesions and polyps found in the upper and lower digestive tracts. EMR is particularly useful in removing cancerous or pre-cancerous lesions and to assess whether a cancer has grown past the duodenum – the lining of the digestive tract.

EMR uses a long flexible tube equipped with a light, camera and other instruments. The patient is under sedation and tube is inserted either through the mouth and throat or through the anus, depending on the area of the digestive tract being examined. During the procedure, your doctor is able to see the inside of the area being examined and can remove lesions or polyps or collect tissue for further analysis and testing.

Not all gastroenterologists are trained to perform EMR, and not all endoscopy centers have the appropriate equipment for the procedure. Dr. Haque of Calvert Gastroenterology is specially trained to perform EMR in the Calvert Endoscopy Center.

Preparing for Your Procedure

Preparation for an EMR will depend on the area being scoped. If your procedure is being performed on the upper digestive tract (esophagus, stomach or upper part of the small intestines), you will be required to stop eating and drinking the night before the procedure in order to totally empty your stomach and provide your doctor a clear viewing field. 

If your procedure is to examine the colon, you will need to undergo a regimen of fasting and laxatives to ensure your colon is empty along with your stomach. Your doctor will explain the preparation procedures required based on the type of EMR you are receiving.

Dr. Haque will also discuss any need to stop or delay of medications that may be required prior to your procedure.

You will be sedated during the procedure, so you will stay in recovery until the effects of the sedation begin to wear off.  You will not be allowed to drive yourself home, so be sure to have someone available to take you to and from the procedure. The doctor will review the immediate findings when you come out of sedation, and will have you schedule an appointment to review any results of tests that are sent out for review.

You will want to take it easy for the rest of the day after you get home, but can enjoy a light meal. You should be able to resume normal activities the next day.