Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR)

What is an Endocscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR)?
EMR is a minimally invasive, endoscopic removal of benign and early malignant lesions in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

About the Procedure
This procedure is performed with a long, narrow tube equipped with a light, video camera and other instruments. During endoscopic mucosal resection of the upper digestive tract, the tube is passed down your throat to reach an abnormality in your esophagus, stomach or upper part of the small intestine (duodenum). When EMR is used to remove lesions from the colon, the tube is guided up through the anus.

  • Esophagus
    EMR is used for patients with discrete nodules in an area of Barrett's mucosa.   This is a safe and effective way to remove precancerous and early cancerous lesions. When EMR is performed in the esophagus, you will need to go home on certain medications to help your esophagus heal.  Ask your doctor or nurse practitioner about these medications.

  • Stomach
    EMR is used in the stomach in order to remove early gastric cancers.

  • Duodenum
    EMR is used in the duodenum to resect duodenal polyps.

  • Colon
    EMR is used to resect rectal and colon polyps.

Please do not eat or drink anything 8 hours prior to the procedure time.  If the EMR is done in the colon, your doctor or nurse practitioner will prescribe a medicine to cleanse your colon.

During the Procedure
You will be asked to change into a gown before the procedure. You will be given a sedative by the anesthesiologist who will be present to monitor your vital signs during the examination. You will not experience any sensation of gagging or choking. A mouthpiece will be placed between your teeth to protect your mouth. You will lie on your left side, and the endoscope will be passed through your mouth and into the esophagus, stomach and duodenum. The endoscope does not interfere with your breathing.

After the Procedure
After the procedure, you will remain in a recovery room until most of the effect of the sedative has worn off. Because of sedation used during the procedure, you'll need to make plans to have someone take you home.

Common Side Effects

  • Reactions to the sedative
    The drugs used to sedate you may continue to cause drowsiness and may cause nausea and vomiting.

  • Sore throat
    If the endoscope was guided down your esophagus, you may experience a sore throat.  Lozenges help to sooth the throat.

  • Gas or cramps
    A small amount of air may have been pumped into your digestive system to make it more accessible. This can result in gas, bloating or cramps after the procedure.

Possible Complications
Common complications are bleeding, perforation (or tear), and stricture (narrowing of intestine).