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Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas

Print version ISSN 1130-0108


MIRANDA-GARCIA, Pablo et al. Per-oral endoscopic myotomy (POEM): a new endoscopic treatment for achalasia. Rev. esp. enferm. dig. [online]. 2017, vol.109, n.10, pp.719-726. ISSN 1130-0108.

Background/aims: Per-oral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) is a new minimally invasive technique to treat achalasia. Methods: We performed a review of the literature of POEM with a special focus on technical details and the results obtained with this technique in patients with achalasia and other esophageal motility disorders. Results: Thousands of POEM procedures have been performed worldwide since its introduction in 2008. The procedure is based on the creation of a mucosal entry point in the proximal esophagus to reach the cardia through a submucosal tunnel and then perform a myotomy of the muscular layers of the cardia, esophagogastric junction and distal esophagus, as performed in a Heller myotomy. The clinical remission rate ranges from 82 to 100%. Although no randomized studies exist and available data are from single-center studies, no differences have been found between laparoscopic Heller myotomy (LHM) and POEM in terms of perioperative outcomes, short-term outcomes (12 months) and long-term outcomes (up to three years). Procedure time and length of hospital stay were lower for POEM. Post-POEM reflux is a concern, and controversial data have been reported compared to LHM. The technique is safe, with no reported deaths related to the procedure and an adverse event rate comparable to surgery. Potential complications include bleeding, perforation, aspiration and insufflation-related adverse events. Thus, this is a complex technique that needs specific training even in expert hands. The indication for this procedure is widening and other motor hypercontractil esophageal disorders have been treated by POEM with promising results. POEM can be performed in complicated situations such as in pediatric patients, sigmoid achalasia or after failure of previous treatments. Conclusions: POEM is an effective treatment for achalasia and is a promising tool for other motor esophageal disorders. It is a safe procedure but, due to its technical difficulty and possible associated complications, the procedure should be performed in referral centers by trained endoscopists.

Keywords : Per-oral endoscopic myotomy; Heller myotomy; Achalasia.

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