What is Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastronomy?
Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG) is a procedure where physicians use an endoscope to insert a plastic flexible feeding tube through the upper abdominal wall directly into the stomach.
Why is Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastronomy Done?
Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy is generally performed on patients who, for various reasons, are no longer capable of eating or drinking enough food and liquids to sustain themselves.
How Does One Prepare for Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastronomy?
- Do not eat or drink anything for at least 8 hours before the procedure.
- Inform the physician if you have any allergies.
- If you are a diabetic, then you may need to adjust the insulin dosage on the day of procedure.
- Do not take Aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, or blood thinning medications at least 1 week prior to procedure.
How is Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastronomy Performed?
PEG is generally performed by an ENT Specialist, Radiologist or a Gastroenterologist in a hospital, but not necessary in operation theatre. Firstly, patients are given anesthesia (General or Local) so that they remain unconscious and do not experience pain during the procedure. An endoscope (a flexible, lighted instrument) is inserted into the mouth, passing through throat and esophagus to the stomach. The surgeon then makes a small incision (cut) on the side of the abdomen. This procedure allows the doctor to ensure position of feeding tube (PEG Tube) into the stomach. Patients can go home on the same day or the next day.
What Happens After Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastronomy is Done?
- Do not drive or operate any machinery for 24 hours after the procedure.
- After removal of dressing (usually 1 or 2 days), clean the site with soap and water once in a day.
- Consult your dietitian for guidance to use and care for PEG tube.
- Usually, PEG tubes function well for 1 to 3 years.
* If you encounter any problem with your tube, please consult your doctor.
What are the Risks Associated with Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastronomy?
Overall, the risks associated with PEG procedure are low. Bleeding and/or infection can occur at the site where the tube is placed. Perforation (a hole or a deep tear in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract) may require surgery, but this is a very uncommon complication. Rarely, injury to other adjacent organs like the colon and liver can occur. Other risks involve complications related to the anesthetics and sedatives (breathing difficulties, aspiration) or complications related to heart and lung disease.