The International Per Oral Endoscopic Myotomy Survey (IPOEMS): a snapshot of the global POEM experience
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Per oral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) represents a Natural Orifice Transluminal Endoscopic Surgery (NOTES) approach to Heller myotomy. Even though we are now entering an exponential phase of growth with a large number of centers interested in POEM, published data to guide them are limited. As part of the July 2012 NOSCAR meeting, a conference was organized to review POEM and develop a consensus document. Authors SNS and TS who chaired the NOSCAR panel recognized the dearth of published data, which also may lag the rapid developments in POEM. Therefore, they undertook a survey of early POEM adopters around the world to rapidly obtain global, extensive, and current data on POEM. The raw survey data were made available to NOSCAR panel participants to assist with their presentations. We summarize the salient findings of the survey.
A comprehensive POEM survey was created and tested. The final survey instrument consisted of 197 questions that covered all aspects of POEM, including operator discipline, prior training, patient selection, setting, technique preference, results, adverse events, regulatory requirements, and perspectives on the future. An automated online response collector was used.
The International Per Oral Endoscopic Myotomy Survey (IPOEMS) involved 16 expert centers, 7 in North America, 5 in Asia, 4 in Europe, including all high-volume centers (≥30 POEMs per center), as of July 2012. These centers had performed 841 POEMs. There were modest variations among centers in technique and periprocedural management, but all centers uniformly reported excellent efficacy and safety outcomes.
The international POEM survey provides a “global snapshot” of the experience of early adopters. The excellent outcomes over a large cumulative volume of procedures are in line with those of published small series and lend further support to the notion that POEM represents a paradigm shift in the treatment of achalasia.