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Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrotomy (PEG) Explained

Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrotomy, or PEG, is a procedure where the physician uses a combination of an endoscope and needle to fit a patient with a feeding tube. At GI North, we routinely use PEG to help individuals who would otherwise require the more invasive laparotomy, or open abdominal procedure.

Someone who is unable to eat or drink for an extended period of time still requires nutrition. A feeding tube allows the individual to get the nutrition they need directly through a tube inserted in the stomach. Once the tube is in place, feeding is quick and problem free.

Before the procedure, you will receive a pain reliever and sedative, which will keep you comfortable and relaxed. The percutaneous endoscopic gastrotomy, or PEG, procedure begins with the physician inserting an endoscope into the stomach through the mouth. An endoscope is a thin, lighted instrument that allows the physician to determine the proper placement for the feeding tube. The physician then inserts a needle through the abdominal wall and into the stomach. The feeding tube is fed through the opening, and secured in place.

Complications from the percutaneous endoscopic gastrotomy, or PEG, procedure are rare and typically mild. Some drainage around the feeding tube and soreness in the abdominal wall is typical for a few days after the procedure. As with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection. There is also a risk that the tube may become blocked or leak. More serious complications include aspiration, bleeding, and inadvertent puncturing of another organ. The risks during a PEG are lower than risks from open abdominal surgery.

Anyone planning on having the PEG procedure should talk with us about any current medications they are taking. Never stop taking medications on your own, but the doctor needs to know about any prescription or over the counter medications you take on a regular basis, particularly blood thinners and anti-inflammatory medications. If you are an insulin-dependent diabetic, the doctor may need to adjust your dosage on the day of your procedure.

If you or someone you care about requires a PEG procedure, we hope you will contact us for more information and to discuss your options. At GI North, we look forward to answering any questions and concerns you may have.

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