A submucosal tumor was removed from a patient using a full-thickness-technique endoscopic procedure at IRCCS ISMETT in Palermo. This is the first time in the world that this technique has been utilized.

ISMETT_EXT_NIGHT_20140622_702-300x171Until now, this kind of procedure has been performed surgically, and the literature reports very few attempts at an endoscopic approach.

The procedure was carried out by Antonino Granata, MD and Mario Traina, MD. It was made possible due to a new endoscopic suture system that allows stitching of the hole made during the operation. The patient, a 51-year-old woman, underwent a true wedge-shaped gastrectomy via endoscopy, through which the tumor in her stomach was totally removed. She was discharged only three days after the procedure.

There are two main phases of the procedure: resection and suture. Resection was carried out with a miniaturized endoscopic electrosurgical scalpel that removes the tumor and the adjacent gastric wall. A new-generation endoscopic suture was used to close the gastric wall without creating holes in the belly or using abdominal drainage.

“For years we have been waiting for an effective endoscopic tool to suture the intestinal wall from the endoluminal side, and today this has become a reality,” explains Dr. Granata. “The technique used at ISMETT is consonant with the modern therapeutic approach, which will increasingly involve minimally invasive techniques, such as endoscopic techniques, instead of traditional surgery. This will allow the patient a quicker recovery and limit risks related to surgery, as well as decrease health care expenses.”

The possibility of intervening via endoscopy opens new prospects, including intervention on lesions that previously had to be operated on via surgery, reduction of post-operative pain, shorter hospital stays, and avoiding cutaneous scars.