Title
New Microsurgery for Early Stage GI Cancer Patients
Date
09/17/2015
Article

A new endoscopic microsurgery known as Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection (ESD), offers a non-invasive approach to removing small gastrointestinal tumors by removing them in layers.

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Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center offers new endoscopic microsurgery known as Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection (ESD), a non-invasive approach to removing small gastrointestinal tumors. Gastroenterologist, Dr, Mohamed Othman is the first in Houston to perform this procedure.

ESD, first developed in Japan, can spare patients with early-stage cancer of the esophagus, stomach or rectum from having traditional surgery that requires removal of the entire organ. However, patients with later-stage cancer and deeper tumors may not qualify for the procedure.

Dr. Mohamed Othman is one of a small group of specially trained physicians in the United States and the first in Houston to perform this procedure. 

“Imagine there’s a tumor in the wall of the stomach, rectum or esophagus and the only way to remove it is to remove everything,” said Othman, director of advanced endoscopy and assistant professor of medicine - gastroenterology at Baylor College of Medicine and gastroenterologist at CHI St. Luke’s Health–Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center. “There are five layers lining these organs, so knowing the extent of the tumor, we can try to remove it piece by piece and still preserve the rest of the wall.”

With ESD technology, the tumor can be removed, piece-by-piece, past the layer below the surface of these organs known as the submucosal layer. A tiny incision is left on the organ instead of an open cut, decreasing the risk for infection.

“This is done as an endoscopy, so we go through the mouth while the patient is under anesthesia, inject fluid to make space and, using a tiny needle, separate the layers and cut the tumor fiber by fiber,” said Othman, also a member of the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center, an NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor.

The microsurgery, lasting three to four hours in length, spares the patient from experiencing a much more invasive procedure and requires only a 24-hour hospital stay for observation.

“This new microsurgery offers much less risk for complications,” he said. “ESD helps us know the extent of the tumor, which enables us to stage the cancer more precisely.”

For more information or a consultation with Othman, call 713-798-0947.

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