Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection (ESD)

What is an endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD)?

Endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) is a type of therapeutic endoscopy used to remove large polyps or early cancers in the colon or anus without the need for surgery.

This is an advanced procedure that uses an endoscope to accurately remove growths without removing the organ involved.

An endoscope is a thin and flexible tube that is equipped with a camera and tools.

Why do you need an ESD?

An ESD is used for the complete removal of growths that occur in the gastrointestinal tract.

This includes the oesophagus (the 'food tube'), stomach, small bowel and colon.

It is used for:

  • Certain patients with Barrett's oesophagus
  • Early-stage cancerous tumours or colon polyps
  • Staging of cancer (determining the cancer level) to develop treatment plans
  • Tumours of the oesophagus, stomach or colon that have not yet entered the deeper layer of the GI wall, with minimal or no risk of cancer spreading

What are the risks and complications of ESD?

The risk of complications depends on your general health and the type of procedure performed.

ESD, if performed successfully, allows the patient to avoid the need for surgery. However, some possible complications of the procedure include:

  • Bleeding
  • Narrowing of the stomach and oesophagus
  • Perforation of the tract
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