En bloc endoscopic mucosal resection is equally effective for sessile serrated polyps and conventional adenomas
Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) is a continuously evolving technique that has revolutionized the diagnosis, staging, and treatment of superficial neoplasms throughout the digestive tract. As a minimally invasive technique, it offers an alternative to operative resection and mucosal ablation. For neoplasms limited to the mucosa, EMR compares equivalently with operative resection for R0 status (no residual neoplasia) and favorably for morbidity and mortality. In contrast with mucosal ablation, EMR delivers a more precise and predictable depth of tissue effect and, most important, provides the resected specimen for histopathologic analysis. EMR was pioneered in Eastern Asia as a technique for resection of early gastric cancers. Incrementally, the tools and techniques for EMR have evolved to be employed around the globe for eradication of superficial lesions throughout the esophagus, stomach, small bowel, and colon. Owing to improvements in endoscopic detection and recognition, more sessile, flat, depressed, and even subepithelial lesions are being identified for which endoscopic resection is being adopted. Moreover, the implementation of surveillance strategies for various gastrointestinal conditions, such as Barrett’s esophagus, has fostered image guided detection and eradication of premalignant and early malignant lesions, incorporating EMR for diagnosis, staging, and therapy. This review focuses on the techniques, applications, and limitations of EMR for lesions throughout the digestive tract.