Per oral endoscopic myotomy could help a range of esophageal, stomach disorders
SEATTLE — September 05, 2014— Swedish surgeons became the first in Washington State to perform a Per Oral Endoscopic Myotomy (POEM) procedure when they successfully treated a 36-year-old patient diagnosed with a rare esophageal disorder known as achalasia.
POEM involves inserting an endoscope in the patient’s esophagus through the mouth. Once in place, surgeons use several instruments placed though a channel in the endoscope to treat the affected area. In the case of Washington’s first patient to undergo the procedure, a team of Swedish surgeons led by Ralph Aye, M.D., and Brian Louie, M.D., cut though the inner wall of the esophagus to place the endoscope between the inner esophageal layer and the outer muscular wall. By cutting the inner most muscle layer, pressure created by the valve between the esophagus and the stomach was relieved and the patient’s case was treated successfully.
Previously, patients with achalasia were treated using five minimally invasive incisions through the abdominal wall. But because POEM does not require any external incisions, patients can recover quicker with similarly successful outcomes.