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Gastrostomy: Permanent and Temporary
- Endoscopic procedure: a more common and less invasive procedure called percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG)
- Open procedure: an incision is made in the abdomen
Reasons for Procedure
- Feed a person who has a hard time swallowing, has appetite problems, or is otherwise unable to eat
- Drain the stomach of acid and fluids that have built up due to gastrointestinal problems, such as bowel obstruction due to cancer
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- Aspiration—accidental sucking into the airways of fluid, food, or any foreign material
- Damage to other organs
- Anesthesia-related problems
- Skin irritation around the tube
- Dislodging or malfunctioning of the tube
- Obesity or diabetes
- Smoking, alcohol abuse , or drug use
- Use of certain prescription medications
- Prior abdominal surgeries
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Medical history
- Review of medications
- Physical exam
- Assessment of swallowing ability
- Blood and urine tests
- X-rays of the abdomen
- Endoscopic examination of stomach—An endoscope is a long tube with a camera at the end that can be put down the throat into the stomach.
- Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to 1 week before the procedure.
- Avoid food or fluids after midnight before surgery.
- Arrange for a ride to and from the hospital.
Description of the Procedure
Immediately After Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- Depending on your condition, you may need to get nutrition through an IV for the first day or 2 after the tube placement or until your intestine is working normally. You will then be started on clear liquids. You will gradually move to thicker liquids.
- Learn how to administer tube feedings. Also, learn how to flush out your tube. This will decrease the risk of blockages.
- Learn what to do if you have a serious complication such as a dislodged tube or aspiration.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision site around the tube
- Problems with the tube, including if it becomes dislodged, clogged, or malfunctions; dislodging is most common during the first 2 weeks that the tube is in place
- Leaking of feedings around the site of the tube
- Cough, shortness of breath, chest pain
- Nausea, vomiting, constipation , or abdominal swelling
- Inability to pass gas or have a bowel movement
- Severe abdominal pain
- Reviewer: Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 12/2015
- Update Date: 12/20/2014