Australia’s first POEM procedure teaching course - Report


Photo: Dr Geoff Kohn with Dr Jeffrey Marks

On 11-12 December 2015, Dr Geoff Kohn and the Melbourne Upper GI Surgical Group hosted Australia’s first POEM (Peroral endoscopic myotomy) teaching course. Joining Dr Kohn as faculty for this course was Dr Jeffrey Marks an international POEM expert from Cleveland, Ohio in the USA, and Dr Robert Chen gave a lecture on a similar procedure called ESD (endoscopic submucosal dissection).

Twelve Australian surgeons and gastroenterologist came to the course to learn the POEM procedure from Drs Kohn, Marks and Chen.

Dr Kohn was very excited to be hosting such a course: “I am delighted to be able to offer this teaching course for the first time in Australia. I believe that the POEM procedure is a major step forward in surgery, allowing a major oesophageal operation for achalasia to be performed safely, with minimal pain and for a wide variety of indications and with no skin incisions at all. As we teach more and more physicians to perform the POEM procedure, the technique will grow and the care of our patients will be improved.”

Dr Kohn continues to offer the POEM procedure to his patients, for conditions such as achalasia and oesophageal spasm. He continues to teach this procedure to other physicians and is involved in the development of international guidelines for POEM with the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES) . Dr Kohn also performs ESD for certain tumours of the gastrointestinal tract.