A New Way to Remove Precancerous Lesions from GI Tract

New GI Tract Procedure
Print icon

Tiny lesions rooted deep inside the intestinal tract might sound deadly and, in the past, they might have been. But, thanks to a new technique being done at Hartford HealthCare, many patients are leaving the operating room cancer-free.

Dr. Vaibhav Mehendiratta, a gastroenterologist with Connecticut GI who is affiliated with the Surgical Oncology Program at Hartford HealthCare’s Cancer Institute, called the technique “the most exciting development in recent years” for people with precancerous lesions of the gastrointestinal tract.

“The techniques, called endoscopic mucosal resection or endoscopic submucosal dissection, gives us the ability to remove precancerous lesions or early cancers from lining of the intestinal tract using endoscopic tools,” he said of the minimally-invasive procedure. “This allows patients to successfully undergo cancer removal without major surgery.

“The advancement is especially beneficial for patients with complicated medical conditions that might make them inappropriate surgical candidates.”

November is Pancreatic Awareness Month and, because of his special interest in gastroenterologic oncology, Dr. Mehendiratta said he treats many patients who have pancreaticobiliary disorders and cancers as well as those with issues in the esophagus or colon. He is part of Hartford HealthCare’s team approach to pancreatic cancers – part of the category called hepatobiliary (HPB) cancers — that includes gastroenterologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and surgical oncologists who discuss each patient’s case to determine the best treatment.

“Gastroenterologists are involved early in diagnosis of GI cancers when patients present with symptoms like pain, trouble eating, bleeding or weight loss,” he said.

He added that their expertise in the gastrointestinal tract means that, “during treatment, gastroenterologists are involved in the staging of cancer and for providing palliative treatments like stents to relieve blockage or nerve blocks for pain control.”

Patients with HPB cancers, Dr. Mehendiratta said, might require:

  • Standard endoscopic procedures like upper endoscopy and colonoscopy for biopsy or removal of intestinal cancers.
  • Endoscopic ultrasound to stage cancer or biopsy any mass located outside the intestines.
  • Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), a test to relieve blockage of the bile duct that drains the liver and gallbladder in the case of patients with abnormal liver tests.

For more information on treatment for hepatobiliary cancers at the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute, click here.



What's New

Diabetes and Winter

Diabetes? Follow This Doctor’s Cold-Weather Tips to Protect Feet

By Dr. Mark Tramontozzi For people with diabetes, the winter months are a time when more attention than usual should be given to the feet.  Diabetics are at risk for having reduced blood flow to the lower extremities, and the cold weather compounds this problem. The dry weather from being...

Brain Tumor

Neuro-Oncologist: Here’s How We Treat Brain Tumors

By Dr. Ahmad Daher Medical Director, Neuro-Oncology Hartford HealthCare Medical Group Patients with gliomas, the most common cancerous brain tumors, have shown only a modest improvement in survival rate despite diagnostic and therapeutic — surgery, radiation and pharmacotherapy — advancements in oncology over the last three decades. Here’s a summary of...

Graduating into College Sports

Graduating From High School to College Sports? Some Tips

Making the transition from high school to collegiate athletics can be a daunting and difficult task. Physical therapist Stefanie Bourassa and psychologist Peter Lucchio of the Hartford HealthCare Bone & Joint Institute’s Center for Musculoskeletal Health have several tips to help make this transition smooth. Bourassa, who played Division I...


Robot-Assisted Hip, Knee Replacements Now at Central Connecticut, MidState

In early November, The Hospital of Central Connecticut and MidState Medical Center each received a Mako robot that changes the approach to hip and knee replacement surgeries. Two colleagues, Dr. Richard Scarlett, Chief of Orthopaedics at The Hospital of Central Connecticut, and Dr. Stephen Nelson, a surgeon with the Connecticut...

Palliative vs. Hospice Care

What’s the Difference Between Hospice and Palliative Care?

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month and the team from Hartford HealthCare at Home wants to help those in need of these services make the right decisions during what is a critical time for them and their loved ones. Hospice and palliative care offer compassionate care to patients...

Syrian Refugee Travels Long Road to Freedom (and Windham Hospital)

Ayman Al Hariri has started a new life in Willimantic and at Windham Hospital. The Syrian refugee, a former middle school teacher in his native land, left the war-torn nation more than four years ago for the safety of his wife and two young children.  The United Nations estimates that...