Some patients with dysplasia or very early cancer have a visible nodule in their oesophagus.  It is generally straightforward to remove the nodule during endoscopy.  If you have this procedure, you will be given a sedative to make you slightly sleepy. The procedure takes around 30-45 minutes, and you can usually go home the same day. Most people can eat and drink normally afterwards. In about one in ten people there may be minor bleeding and more serious bleeding in one in 100 people which can usually be stopped by treatment at endoscopy.  If severe, a blood transfusion may occasionally be required.

EMR Procedure can be repeated a number of times if there are several nodules. If larger sections of affected oesophagus are removed this can cause scarring and difficulty in swallowing.   Sometimes it is necessary to remove a deeper area and then the procedure is called a submucosal dissection. Your endoscopy specialist will discuss the details with you.

Endoscopic mucosal resection is a particularly useful technique to determine how deep the abnormal tissue goes into the tissue because the removed nodule can be sent to the laboratory to be checked by the pathologist.  In this situation, it serves as both a diagnostic test and a treatment.

The treatment does not aim to remove the Barrett’s cells completely and very often it is followed by further treatment to burn away any residual Barrett’s cells – called radiofrequency ablation or RFA.