OBJECTIVE:: Aim of this study is to report the mid-term outcomes of a large series of patients treated with peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) in a single European center. BACKGROUND:: POEM is a recently developed treatment of achalasia, which combines the efficacy of surgical myotomy, with the benefits of an endoscopic procedure. Previous studies, including few patients with a short-term follow-up, showed excellent results on dysphagia relief. METHODS:: The first 100 adult patients treated in a single tertiary referral center were retrospectively identified and included in this study (41 men, mean age 48.4 years). Patients were treated according to a standard technique. Follow-up data, including clinical evaluation, and results of esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), manometry, and pH monitoring were collected and analyzed. RESULTS:: POEM was completed in 94% of patients. Mean operative time was 83 minutes (49-140 minutes). No complications occurred. Patients were fed after a median of 2 days (1-4 days). A mean follow-up of 11 months (3-24 months) was available for 92 patients. Clinical success was documented in 94.5% of patients. Twenty-four-hour pH monitoring documented Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) in 53.4% of patients. However, only a minority of patients had heartburn (24.3%) or esophagitis (27.4%), and these patients were successfully treated with proton-pump inhibitors. CONCLUSIONS:: Our results confirm the efficacy of POEM in a large series of patients, with a mean follow-up of 11 months. Should our results be confirmed by long-term follow-up studies, POEM may become one of the first-line therapies of achalasia in the next future.
- Peroral endoscopic myotomy