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Anesthesia for peroral endoscopic myotomy in Japan

Murata, Hiroaki; Ichinomiya, Taiga; Hara, Tetsuya

Current Opinion in Anesthesiology: August 2019 - Volume 32 - Issue 4 - p 511–516
doi: 10.1097/ACO.0000000000000742

Purpose of review Peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) was developed in Japan as a less invasive treatment for esophageal achalasia requiring general anesthesia under positive pressure ventilation. In 2018, the Japan Gastroenterological Endoscopy Society published the first guidelines describing the standard care for POEM. Based on these guidelines, we discuss the typical approach to anesthesia during POEM for the management of esophageal achalasia in Japan.

Recent findings Prior cleansing of the esophagus is essential to prevent both aspiration during induction of anesthesia and contamination of the mediastinum and thoracic/abdominal cavity by esophageal remnants after endoscopic resection of the esophageal mucosa. Although rare, adverse events related to intraoperative carbon dioxide insufflation occur. These are treated through percutaneous needle decompression and insertion of a chest drainage tube for pneumoperitoneum and pneumothorax, respectively. Caution should be exercised regarding the development of subcutaneous emphysema and its involvement in airway obstruction.

Summary Prevention of aspiration pneumonia and adverse events related to the insufflation of carbon dioxide is essential in the management of esophageal achalasia through POEM. Close cooperation between gastrointestinal endoscopic surgeons and anesthesiologists is indispensable in POEM.

Department of Anesthesiology, Nagasaki University School of Medicine, Nagasaki, Japan

Correspondence to Hiroaki Murata, Department of Anesthesiology, Nagasaki University School of Medicine, 1-7-1 Sakamoto, Nagasaki 852-8501, Japan. Tel: +81-95-819-7370; fax: +81-95-819-7373; e-mail:

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