Dr. Neil Sharma Discusses Minimally Invasive Endoscopic Surgical Options

Monday, June 6, 2022, 2:51 PM

Neil R. Sharma MD, recently discussed minimally invasive endoscopic surgical options.

FORT WAYNE, IN / JUNE 6, 2022 / Dr. Neil R. Sharma initiated the Interventional Endoscopy program at Parkview Health and served as a mentor for advanced endoscopy fellowship research and education. He is passionate about combining the science of medicine and the perspective/goals of the patient to create the best possible outcome.

Dr. Sharma’s research and education led him to become an expert in minimally-invasive endoscopic surgery options. He recently discussed those options in language patients and their caregivers can understand.

What Is Minimally Invasive Endoscopic Surgery?

Minimally invasive endoscopic surgery involves using an endoscope — a thin tube with a tiny video camera and light for visibility. The endoscope enters the body via a small cut in the skin or one of the body’s natural openings (no cuts at all). 

Minimally invasive endoscopic surgery is a way for the surgeon to view the inside of the body without the painful cuts associated with traditional surgery methods.

Benefits of Minimally Invasive Endoscopic Surgery

Patients tend to prefer minimally invasive endoscopic surgery whenever its available. That’s because it results in shorter recovery times, less pain, a smaller chance of infection, smaller scars, and much shorter hospital stays. 

Types of Minimally Invasive Endoscopic Surgery

Dr. Neil Sharma outlined several types of endoscopic surgery and their differences. These include Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection (ESD), Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR), Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), and Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS).

Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection (ESD)

This endoscopic surgery is an outpatient procedure that removes tumors from the GI tract. Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection (ESD) treats Barrett’s esophagus, early-stage cancerous tumors, colon adenomas & polyps, and other tissue abnormalities that may require removal. ESD is a complex procedure that requires additional training beyond most advanced interventional endoscopy training and requires maintenance of proficiency. However, it can replace the need for open, laparoscopic, or robotic surgery for early-stage 1 gastric and esophageal cancers or other large precancerous and benign lesions/masses needing removal

Endoscopic Mucosal Resection (EMR)

Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Mucosal Resection is also known as EMR. It is a minimally-invasive endoscopic surgery to remove early-stage cancer, precancerous tissue, or other abnormal tissues from the digestive tract. 

 Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP)

Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is another of Neil R. Sharma MD’s specialties. This procedure can treat and diagnose problems in the ducal systems of the pancreas, bile ducts, gallbladder, liver, and more. The endoscope enters through the mouth for the doctor to view blockages in the bile ducts, tumors, infections, and other rarities that may be causing pain.

Endoscopic Ultrasound (EUS)

Dr. Sharma also specializes in endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) to assess lung and gastrointestinal diseases. A unique endoscope uses sound waves to create images of the walls and lining of the chest, digestive tract, and organs like the liver and pancreas. 

An Endoscopic Ultrasound can evaluate issues such as bile duct stones, Barrett’s esophagus, Lymphoma, and more. EUS can then be used to obtain biopsies less invasively, stage cancers, drain cysts, connect organs together for bypass/access, drain organs such as the gallbladder, place markers, or ablate tissues. The indications for treatment by EUS are expanding. No open incisions provide a benefit for rapid healing and less pain.

Dr. Neil Sharma and Endoscopic Surgery

Minimally invasive endoscopic surgery can make a patient’s diagnosis and treatment drastically less painful and stressful. Dr. Neil Sharma often uses this method of surgery to diagnose, stage, and/or treat esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, Barrett’s esophagus, gastric cancer, and other ailments. He started and led the Interventional Endoscopy Program at Parkview Health.