Per Oral Endoscopic Myotomy (POEM)

A very effective treatment for achalasia, Zenker’s diverticulum and gastroparesis. Compared to surgery, POEM has fewer risks and is more effective. Patients often go home the day after their procedure with little or no pain at all. POEM uses slightly different approaches for each condition being treated:

  • For achalasia, the gastroenterologist uses an endoscope to create a small incision in the lining of your esophagus from the inside, and then cuts the muscle of the lower esophagus to help it relax after swallowing. This approach is more effective than alternatives like Botox injection and balloon dilation. It is also both safer and has better results than surgery.
  • For Zenker's diverticulum, the gastroenterologist uses a similar technique to cut the septum that has formed where the small pouch bulges from the esophagus. This approach is more effective and safer than surgery, and chances of the condition returning in the future are lower.
  • For gastroparesis, the gastroenterologist uses a similar approach to cut a different muscle where the bottom of the stomach meets the small intestine. In the past, symptoms could sometimes be controlled with dietary modifications or medication, but only surgery could actually treat this condition. Unfortunately, surgery requires incisions on the outside of the body and a higher risk of complications. With this technique, no external incisions are necessary and results are better than surgery for many patients. We are the only center in Connecticut equipped to perform this procedure and one of only a handful in the country.

New hope for people living with swallowing disorders

For people living with swallowing disorders, feeling a choking sensation when they eat or drink is a common occurrence. But thanks to a newer, less invasive treatment option, people can find relief from these troublesome symptoms and gain a better quality of life. Read more.



Specialists in POEM

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Name Specialties Location
Karasik, Michael Steven, MD Karasik, Michael Steven, MD 860.246.2571
  • Gastroenterology
  • Internal Medicine
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  • Hartford
  • Bloomfield
  • Bloomfield
  • Farmington
  • Glastonbury
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Digestive Health Center

  • Hartford Hospital
    85 Jefferson Street
    Hartford, CT 06102
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Our dedicated suite for advanced gastrointestinal procedures opened in early 2018. We use the four-room suite to perform sophisticated endoscopic procedures available at only a few dozen centers in the country.