Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR)

EMR is a less invasive alternative to surgery for removing abnormal tissues from the lining of the digestive tract, including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and colon. Your doctor may recommend the procedure to remove certain early-stage cancers or precancerous growths.

What do I need to know for my EMR?

BEFORE: Your doctor will provide instructions for fasting (no eating or drinking) and other preparations prior to the procedure. It’s important to inform your doctor of any allergies or medical conditions you have and all medicines, vitamins, and supplements you take.

DURING: You will receive pain medication and sedative to help you relax and stay comfortable. EMR is performed with a long, narrow tube tipped with a light and video camera. Your doctor passes this tube down your throat into your esophagus, stomach or upper part of the small intestine (duodenum). If your doctor needs to reach the colon, he or she guides the tube up through the anus. The doctor then inserts instruments through the tube to perform the procedure.

AFTER: Once in the recovery area, you will be monitored until most of the effects of the sedatives have worn off. After, you might experience cramping or bloating due to the air introduced into the intestinal  tract during the exam, but it should disappear quickly when you pass gas. Someone must drive you home and stay with you, even if you feel alert after the procedure. Your judgment and reflexes could be impaired for the rest of the day. You will leave with written instructions that explain when you can start eating and drinking and when you can resume normal activities. Though you will likely go home the day of your EMR, you should not drive or return to work for the remainder of the day.