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a hepatologie

Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Gastroent Hepatol 2014; 68(4): 294-298.

The effect of learning peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) during the first year of authentication methods in the Czech Republic

Radek Doležel  1, Jan Martínek  2,3, Julius Špičák  2, Jana Juhásová  4, H. Švecová  5

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Peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) is a new (experimental in the Czech Republic) method for treating esophageal achalasia. Since we can assume that its further expansion into clinical practice and the optimization of the training of doctors performing POEM is crucial, we have analyzed the learning curve during the first year of POEM implementation in our country. Methods: The prospective study consisted of 30 patients with achalasia who underwent POEM. All surgeries were carried out by one endoscopist who had observed nine clinical performances by an expert endoscopist and trained on ten pigs. Patients were divided into three consecutive homogeneous groups (n = 10). The degree of improvement was assessed according to the time necessary to perform a 1cm myotomy, the frequency of technical errors (non-targeted mucosal injury, CO2 extravasations) and intra-surgery complications. Results: POEM was completed successfully in all cases without any major complications. Patients (n = 30; mean age 47.3 ± 14.5 years; BMI 24.9 ± 3.7 kg/m2) were hospitalized 2.5 ± 0.7 days. The average time required to perform a 1cm myotomy was 7.7 ± 2.7 minutes, and as we gained experience this time significantly decreased (p < 0.001). The frequency of unintentional mucosotomy (n = 3; 10%) declined in groups (0.2; 0.1; 0), but the decrease was not significant (p = 0.75). A total of 13 patients (43%) required capnoperitoneum decompression. Subcutaneous emphysema with spontaneous resolution appeared in seven patients (23%). Neither type of CO2 extravasation was affected by our learning (p = 1). The learning curve began to show a significant improvement from the performance of the 12th clinical POEM and a plateau was reached after the 14th clinical performance. Conclusions: During the first year of using POEM in clinical practice we observed a significant learning effect in operating time reduction with faster performance of myotomy. Technical errors were primarily not affected by learning. The authors strongly recommend implementation of the POEM method in clinical practice after appropriate training (on pigs) and observation in expert centres. Full competence in the POEM method is achieved after about 23 performances.


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