Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) is a minimally invasive procedure to remove deep tumors from the GI tract. ESD is an outpatient procedure and most people go home the same day. Patients recover faster, and often with less pain, compared to an open or laparoscopic surgical procedure. Only a few centers in the United States perform ESD because the procedure requires a high degree of expertise.
ESD may treat Barrett’s esophagus, early-stage cancerous tumors or colon polyps, and tumors of the esophagus, stomach or colon that have not yet entered the deeper layer of the GI wall. In some cases, ESD is a more effective option than Endoscopic Mucosal Resection for removing growths or tumors.
To avoid any pain or discomfort, you will be given an anesthesia medication. The gastroenterologist will insert an endoscope, a flexible, thin tube with a light and camera on the tip, through either your mouth or your anus. Your gastroenterologist will locate the tumor and mark the margins of the tumor, to ensure the entire lesion is removed. A solution is injected into the layer beneath (submucosa) the tumor, to lift it away from the muscle wall. This separation aims to minimize the damage to the surrounding tissue during the procedure. Your doctor will then dissect (cut) the tumor and remove it.
After the procedure, your recovery is monitored while the anesthesia wears off. Soon after, you are discharged, and your driver can take you home.