What is the difference between the POEM procedure and the standard keyhole operation (laparoscopic Heller’s cardiomyotomy)?
- In POEM, no skin incisions are required – it is totally incision-free surgery
- In POEM, the oesophageal muscle can be divided along any length determined by your surgeon. In the laparoscopic operation, the length of muscle division can be about 7cm maximum
- In POEM, there is much less dissection and manipulation of the junction between the stomach and oesophagus. This will probably decrease the chance of the operation causing a hiatus hernia
- In POEM, no antireflux operation is performed
For how long will I have pain after POEM?
This varies from patient to patient, but mostly patients are completely pain free after one month.
What do I need to do after I am discharged from hospital?
After discharge, please follow the diet prescribed by your surgeon for the first week or two. This will include soft foods.
Are there any possible complications?
Heartburn and GORD may result from the procedure, but are often easily treated with antacid medications. It is possible that the oesophagus or stomach can leak after the procedure. This will we closely watched for by your surgeon.
Is POEM any good?
POEM has now been performed in many centres around the world over approximately the past 3 years. Major complications in this time frame are rare, and resolution of swallowing problems are very good.
Does anyone perform POEM in Australia?
Dr Geoff Kohn received training in POEM from pioneers of the procedure in Cleveland, U.S.A.