Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) is a minimally invasive procedure that removes cancer from the gastrointestinal tract of a patient without removing the organ involved. The procedure and its benefits and risks are discussed.
Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) is a minimally invasive procedure that removes cancer from the gastrointestinal tract of a patient without removing the organ involved. This allows the patient to maintain quality of life.
The gastrointestinal tract is the passageway through which food travels from the mouth to the anus, and includes the esophagus (the “food tube”), stomach, small bowel and colon.
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Esophageal and gastric cancer are conditions in which malignant (cancerous) tumors develop through a series of changes (dysplasia) in the cells of the esophagus or stomach. Treatments include ESD, surgery, brachytherapy radiation, chemotherapy, and combination therapy (radiation and chemotherapy).
The ESD procedure is performed with an endoscope, a long, thin, flexible instrument about 1/2 inch in diameter. The endoscope is passed through the patient’s mouth. Through the endoscope, instruments are used to precisely dissect (cut) the tumor, and the tumor is removed in one piece through the patient’s mouth.
This is how the ESD procedure for esophageal cancer is performed:
The advantages of ESD for the treatment of esophageal and gastric cancer include the following:
The side effects of ESD include bleeding, perforation (tearing) of the esophagus or stomach and stricture (narrowing) of the esophagus or stomach.
If the cancer is found and treated while it is in an early stage, the prognosis for patients is very good. In one study, the five-year survival rate (the percentage of patients still alive five years after the procedure) was 95 percent.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/27/2019.
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