• endoscopic submucosal dissection;
  • esophageal cancer;
  • gastric cancer

Aim:  This study was carried out to understand the current practice and learning of endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) for superficial esophageal and gastric cancers in East Asian countries.

Methods:  A questionnaire survey was used to investigate differences in upper gastrointestinal (GI) ESD among East Asian countries.

Results:  ESD is used by many endoscopists in not only tertiary centers but also secondary care hospitals in China, Korea and Japan. By contrast, it is less used by doctors in tertiary centers in Hong Kong and Taiwan. However, the general trend appears to be the same; ESD, which is a highly advanced endoscopic technique, is being transmitted from preceptors to preceptees in tertiary centers, then from doctors in tertiary centers to experienced doctors in secondary hospitals. The speed of learning and uptake in the practice of this procedure will depend on the volume of cases. Upper GI ESD can be expected to spread at a similar rate across different districts or hospitals in East Asia because of similarities in disease prevalence. Also, endoscopists in this region can easily learn from each other by attending international conferences or visiting endoscopy units to learn the procedure.

Conclusion:  Efforts to establish a standardized protocol for ESD practice and training are important, and may help endoscopists around the world develop this technique further.