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A POEM healed 87 year old man’s swallowing difficulty
2021-02-13

A POEM healed 87 year old man’s swallowing difficulty

A minimally invasive procedure performed on an 87-year old man with a rare esophageal condition brought his life back to normal.


An 87-year-old man had been struggling to swallow food and water for the past year. He had a rare esophageal condition called Distal Oesophageal Spasm- a condition of the esophagus where the patient's food pipe narrows due to frequent spasms and makes it difficult for the patient to swallow food or water easily. He had multiple hospital visits and had even undergone endoscopic dilatation in the past to try and stretch his esophagus but to no avail. Eventually, he was advised to undergo a Per Oral Endoscopic Myotomy (POEM).

POEM is a novel procedure and Dr. Roy J Mukkada, Director of GI Endoscopy & Senior Consultant and Head of Gastroenterology at VPS Lakeshore is the pioneer of this procedure in Kerala. He is one of the few doctors in the state who performs this procedure regularly. The team led by Dr. Roy J Mukkada has been performing this procedure for the last 8 years for Achalasia, another complex condition of the esophagus.

POEM is a minimally invasive scarless endoscopic surgery where an endoscope is passed through the mouth to the throat and into the esophagus. In order to let solids and liquids pass through the food pipe without pain, an incision is made inside the esophagus lining and the muscle is also cut.

Despite the patient’s condition being critical, and in spite of him being advanced in his years, the surgery was completed successfully with no visible scars. By the second day, he was able to swallow and eat without discomfort, and he was discharged on the third day. Thanks to the proper treatment and aftercare, he is now able to consume both solids and liquids comfortably and is on a normal diet.