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Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR)

Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) is a procedure doctors use to remove early-stage cancers — or abnormal tissue that may lead to cancer — from the esophagus, stomach or intestines.

During your EMR, your doctor will insert a thin tube, or endoscope, through your mouth or anus. The tube will be fitted with a light, a camera and instruments that enable your doctor cut away any abnormal or cancerous tissues.

Before your EMR, your doctor may perform an endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), an imaging test, to prepare for the procedure.

Am I a good candidate for endoscopic mucosal resection?

Doctors at Rush use endoscopic mucosal resection to remove early-stage cancers or precancerous tissues in people with the following conditions:

  • Barrett’s esophagus
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Carcinoid tumors
  • Colon polyps

Doctors may also use EMR to take tissue samples to examine for diagnostic purposes.

Alternatives to endoscopic mucosal resection

  • Surgery. Endoscopic mucosal resection is often a good alternative to surgery in people with early-stage gastrointestinal (GI) cancers. Because it is noninvasive, it does not require a hospital stay and generally leads to faster recovery time. However, some people with these types of cancers may benefit from surgery.
  • Radiofrequency ablation for Barrett’s esophagus. Depending on the extent and location of abnormal tissues in your esophagus, your doctor may recommend radiofrequency ablation, which uses radio waves to kill abnormal cells so that normal cells can grow back.

Why choose Rush for endoscopic mucosal resection

  • U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Rush’s cancer program among the best in the country.
  • Many patients with GI cancers receive care at The Coleman Foundation Comprehensive Clinid for Gastrointestinal Cancers, where specialists combine their expertise to consider all the options and create a treatment plan tailored to the patient’s needs.