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HYGEIA-Pioneer in the field of interventional endoscopy: successful endoscopic removal of a gastrointestinal tumor recurrence

22 September 2023

The world’s first endoscopic removal of a subepithelial gastrointestinal tumor was successfully performed at HYGEIA hospital in a patient who had relapsed after surgical removal five years ago.

Specifically, Associate Professor and Scientific Associate of the HYGEIA’s 2nd Department of Gastroenterology, Dr. Thomas Thomaidis in collaboration with Professor P. Zhou of Fudan University of Shanghai, removed endoscopically a 2.5 cm gastrointestinal stromal tumor, which recurred in the area of previous surgery.

The patient had undergone a partial gastrectomy for the same disease five years ago. The operation lasted 3 hours and was characterized by a high degree of technical difficulty since, on the one hand, many surgical clips at the stapler line had to be removed and, on the other hand, the location of the tumor did not allow its easy detection and removal.

The operation was completed successfully thanks to the great experience and expertise of the team combined with the excellent technological equipment provided by HYGEIA and the Director of the 2nd Gastroenterology Clinic, Dr. Kallimanis. The surgery was completed purely endoscopically, without complications, using the Submucosal Tunneling Endoscopic Resection (STER) technique, while the patient was discharged 4 days later.

This is the world’s first endoscopic removal of a gastrointestinal stromal tumor recurrence located on the surgical stapler line of a previous operation, published in the prestigious and renowned medical journal “Endoscopy 2023; Thomaidis et al. 55(S 01): E896-E897 DOI: 10.1055/a-2113-9985”.

Endoscopic removal of early cancers is now the gold standard for the management of patients with a beginning digestive tract malignancy. It ensures a minimal invasive intervention with reduced hospitalization, small complication rates, but most importantly for the patient, the avoidance of a long surgery — often involving a complete organ removal.