Peroral Endoscopic Myotomy
PerOral Esophageal Myotomy (POEM) is a minimally invasive surgical technique for treating achalasia, an esophageal disorder that makes it difficult to swallow. The procedure is one of a growing number of surgeries to use the body’s natural orifices as an entry point, thus eliminating the need for traditional incisions.
During POEM, an endoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a scalpel on the end) is inserted in the mouth and tunneled down into the esophagus. Your surgeon can access and cut abnormal muscle fibers that prevent the valve at the base of the esophagus from opening to allow food to enter the stomach.
Minimally invasive procedures such as POEM have been shown to offer an array of potential benefits, including greater surgical precision, better outcomes, a shorter recovery time, shorter hospital stay and less pain.
Northwestern Medicine and its Digestive Health Center has pioneered this procedure is one of only a few centers in the U.S. with surgeons trained to perform it.