Like Local 3 News on Facebook:

A procedure pioneered overseas may now mean an easier recovery for some patients in the U.S.  

Fifty-year-old Jaime Reid is bouncing back from a health scare that could have set him back for weeks. During a routine colonoscopy, doctors found a polyp.

While most mushroom like polyps are removed endoscopically with a surgical tool that snares the growth, Jaime’s polyp was too large and flat. The traditional option would have been to remove that section of the colon. 

Jaime explains, “It would have meant another five days in the hospital. Probably a week out of work.” 

Instead, Jaime had a procedure called ESD or endoscopic submucosal dissection. Using an endoscope, doctors inject fluid into the layer of the bowel next to the polyp — creating a working space. Then doctors use the scope to deliver an electric current, like a laser.

Dr. Richard Whelan, Colorectal Surgeon, Mt. Sinai, says, “The scope is being used to actually draw around the lesion and cut layer by layer to get the polyps removed.” 

Dr. Whelan is one of only a handful of surgeons and GI doctors performing ESD in the United States. He says doctors need more training, and hospitals will need to invest in specialized equipment before ESD can catch on. 

For Jaime Reid, ESD meant only one day in the hospital.

Jaime adds, “I was at work four days later. That’s a success for me.”

Dr. Whelan says Japan is about 15 years ahead of the United States in treating colon polyps with advanced endoscopy in part, because Japanese surgeons have more experience using ESD to treat stomach cancer, which is more prevalent in that country.