EMR stands for Endoscopic Mucosal Resection and ESD for Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection. Gastrointestinal EMR and ESD are specific highly specialised techniques used to remove larger precancerous lesions or early cancers from within the upper gut or colon.


Why is EMR or ESD performed?

The most common lesions which may require EMR/ESD include:

  1. Barrett’s oesophagus with dysplasia
  2. Some forms of early oesophageal cancer
  3. Early gastric cancer (or precancerous lesions)
  4. Large polyps in the colon or rectum

What does an EMR/ESD procedure involve?

You will receive twilight sedation. You will most likely begin by lying on your left side. After you receive sedatives, the procedure will commence. The instrument does not interfere with your ability to breathe. The actual examination generally takes between 30 to 60 minutes.

Specialised endoscopic cutting devices are used to carefully and completely remove the known lesion following separation of the gut layers using a viscous solution to minimise the risks of complications.

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How do I prepare for EMR or ESD?

For EMR/ESD of the upper gastrointestinal tract, you should have nothing to eat or drink, not even water, usually six hours before the examination. Your doctor or nurse will tell you when to start this fasting. If the procedure involves the colon or rectum, you will need a bowel cleanse as for a colonoscopy.

Please advise us of all medications prior to your procedure.

What are the risks of EMR or ESD?

Your doctor will explain the procedure and risks in detail during your consultation, as these vary depending upon the size and location of the lesion being treated.

Should I arrange for help after an EMR or ESD?

You will receive sedatives so you won’t be allowed to drive after the procedure until the next day, even if you don’t feel tired. You should arrange for a ride home. You must have someone stay with you at home after the examination as the sedatives could affect your judgment and reflexes for 24 hours.

Most EMR and ESD cases are same-day procedures. Your doctor may advise a short admission for observation as a routine precaution.

The information provided here is for general educational purposes only. If you would like to know if an endoscopic mucosal resection or endoscopic submucosal dissection is appropriate for your situation, please contact Sydney Gastroenterology & Liver Group.

For appointments and enquiries, please phone   02 9480 6210

8:30AM – 5:00PM Monday - Thursday
8:30AM – 4:00PM Fridays

Suite 213
San Clinic Tulloch
Sydney Adventist Hospital
185 Fox Valley Rd
Wahroonga NSW 2076



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