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Submucosal tunneling techniques: current perspectives

Authors Kobara H, Mori H, Rafiq K, Fujihara S, Nishiyama N, Ayaki M, Yachida T, Matsunaga T, Tani J, Miyoshi H, Yoneyama H, Morishita A, Oryu M, Iwama H, Masaki T

Received 9 January 2014

Accepted for publication 25 February 2014

Published 5 April 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 67—74

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CEG.S43139

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Hideki Kobara,1 Hirohito Mori,1 Kazi Rafiq,2 Shintaro Fujihara,1 Noriko Nishiyama,1 Maki Ayaki,1 Tatsuo Yachida,1 Tae Matsunaga,1 Johji Tani,1 Hisaaki Miyoshi,1 Hirohito Yoneyama,1 Asahiro Morishita,1 Makoto Oryu,1 Hisakazu Iwama,3 Tsutomu Masaki1

1Department of Gastroenterology and Neurology, 2Department of Pharmacology, 3Life Science Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Kagawa University, Miki-cho, Kita-Gun, Kagawa, Japan

Abstract: Advances in endoscopic submucosal dissection include a submucosal tunneling technique, involving the introduction of tunnels into the submucosa. These tunnels permit safer offset entry into the peritoneal cavity for natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery. Technical advantages include the visual identification of the layers of the gut, blood vessels, and subepithelial tumors. The creation of a mucosal flap that minimizes air and fluid leakage into the extraluminal cavity can enhance the safety and efficacy of surgery. This submucosal tunneling technique was adapted for esophageal myotomy, culminating in its application to patients with achalasia. This method, known as per oral endoscopic myotomy, has opened up the new discipline of submucosal endoscopic surgery. Other clinical applications of the submucosal tunneling technique include its use in the removal of gastrointestinal subepithelial tumors and endomicroscopy for the diagnosis of functional and motility disorders. This review suggests that the submucosal tunneling technique, involving a mucosal safety flap, can have potential values for future endoscopic developments.

Keywords: submucosal endoscopy, submucosal tunneling method, natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery, peroral endoscopic myotomy, gastrointestinal subepithelial tumor, functional and motility disorders

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