What you can expect

Before the procedure

Your doctor, nurse or other health care provider will explain the risks and benefits of the procedure to you. You'll be asked to sign an informed consent document giving your doctor permission to perform the procedure. Before you sign the form, ask your doctor about anything you don't understand about the procedure.

During the procedure

You'll be asked to change into a gown before the procedure. During the procedure, you'll lie on your side on a cushioned table. You can expect the following:

  • Numbing medication. If the doctor will be guiding the endoscope down your throat, you may first have your throat sprayed or be asked to gargle a solution that numbs your throat. This local anesthetic makes insertion of the endoscope more comfortable.
  • Sedation. You'll receive a sedative before the procedure starts. Moderate sedation makes you feel relaxed and drowsy. You may feel slight movement or pressure during the procedure, but you shouldn't feel pain. Sometimes, heavy sedation is used. Ask your doctor which option is appropriate for you.
  • Monitoring. Nurses or other professionals will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen level and comfort while the doctor performs the procedure.

There are a few versions of endoscopic mucosal resection. They are grouped into two general categories: Suction or lift method. Both require a surgical cut to remove the abnormal tissue.

After the procedure

You'll remain in a recovery room until most of the effect of the sedative has worn off. Once you are alert, you'll receive written instructions that explain when you can start eating and drinking and when you can resume normal activities.

You'll be advised not to do any of the following activities until the next day:

  • Drive
  • Return to work
  • Make important decisions

You'll likely go home the day of your EMR. However, because sedation is used during the procedure, you'll need to have someone take you home.

Relatively mild side effects may occur within 24 hours after the procedure, including:

  • Reactions to the sedative. You may continue to feel drowsy and may have nausea and vomiting.
  • Sore throat. If the endoscope was guided down your esophagus, your throat may be sore.
  • Gas or cramps. If air was pumped into your digestive system to make it more accessible, you may have gas, bloating or cramps after the procedure.

You'll also receive written instructions about when to call your doctor or get emergency care after the procedure. The following signs or symptoms may indicate a serious complication from endoscopic mucosal resection:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Vomiting
  • Black stool
  • Bright red blood in the stool
  • Chest or abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fainting