Per-Oral Endoscopic Myotomy (POEM)

What is Per-oral Endoscopic Myotomy (POEM)?

Per-oral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) is an endoscopic procedure which is usually used to treat achalasia or spastic oesophageal conditions which haven’t responded to other medical therapies.

The procedure is used to cut the muscles in the oesophagus which may not be working properly and therefore it is difficult to eat or swallow.

POEM: What to Expect

Your doctor will let you know exactly how to prepare for the procedure, and they should include the following steps:

  • A liquid diet may be recommended for 1-2 days prior to the procedure.
  • You should not eat or drink for 12 hours prior to the procedure, ensuring the oesophagus is clear of all food products.
  • Specific instructions dependent on any prescription medication you take.

POEM helps the muscles in your oesophagus to relax so you can properly swallow and eat again.

What happens during the POEM Procedure?

POEM is carried out via endoscopy. The endoscope is pushed through your mouth into your oesophagus, and they will then make a 1cm cut into the inner layer of the oesophagus. They will then make a tunnel through the inner lining of the oesophagus allowing the muscles to be cut lengthways into the stomach, this allows the symptoms of chest pain associated with POEM to be relieved too.

The procedure takes around 90 minutes, although it can be longer dependent on the thickness of the muscles.

Care after the Procedure

After POEM you will not be able to eat for 24 hours, this allows the cut in your oesophagus to heal properly.

You will have to follow a strict diet to get the best results from your procedure. For the first week you should only eat a liquid diet and the week after, you can move onto pureed food.

Three weeks after your procedure you should be able to eat normally, and your symptoms should be relieved, and you can continue life as normal.

Consultation Appointment with Dr Haidry

Dr Haidry is an experienced interventional endoscopist who regularly carries out endoscopic procedures including POEM. You can get in touch via our contact page to arrange a consultation. The appointment will be an opportunity to discuss different treatment options including the POEM procedure.

To make an enquiry or appointment please contact Dr Rehan Haidry's secretary