Stands for percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy, a surgical procedure for placing a feeding tube without having to perform an open laparotomy (operation on the abdomen). The aim of PEG is to feed those who cannot swallow. PEG may be done by a surgeon, otolaryngologist (ENT specialist) or gastroenterologist (GI specialist). It is done in a hospital or outpatient surgical facility. Local anesthesia (usually lidocaine or another spray) is used to anesthetize the throat. An endoscope (a flexible, lighted instrument) is passed through the mouth, throat and esophagus to the stomach. The surgeon then makes a small incision (cut) in the skin of the abdomen and pushes an intravenous cannula (an IV tube) through the skin into the stomach and sutures (ties) it in place. The patient can usually go home the same day or the next morning. Possible complications include wound infection and dislodging or malfunction of the tube. PEG takes less time, carries less risk and costs less than a classic surgical gastrostomy which requires opening the abdomen.
Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy facts
- Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy is preferable to surgical gastrostomy
- Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy is a procedure that allows nutritional support for patients who cannot take food orally. Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy involves placement of a tube through the abdominal wall and into the stomach through which nutritional liquids can be infused.
- Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy is a surgical procedure; however, it does not require opening the abdomen or an operating room. Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy also does not require general anesthesia.
- Complications of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy include infection, leakage of nutritional liquids that are infused and clogging of the tube.