Purpose: To evaluate the feasibility, complications, adequacy of feeding support, and tolerability of fluoroscopically guided gastrostomy in cancer patients.
Materials and methods: Five hundred cancer patients were referred for fluoroscopically guided gastrostomy, among whom percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy was contraindicated or had been unsuccessful in approximately one-fourth. Five hundred eight fluoroscopically guided gastrostomies with T-fastener gastropexy were performed in 496 patients. The procedure was unsuccessful in four patients, and 12 patients needed a second gastrostomy.
Results: Fluoroscopically guided gastrostomy was feasible in 99% of patients. During the first 30 postprocedure days, there were seven major complications (1.4%): cardiac failure (n = 1), hemorrhage (n = 1), and peritonitis (n = 5); one patient died of peritonitis. No major complications occurred after the 30th postprocedure day. There were 27 minor complications (5.4%) during the first 30 postprocedure days and 88 (17.6%) thereafter. Long-term minor complications mainly involved the disturbances and nearly always resolved once the tube was exchanged. Such exchanges were easily performed under fluoroscopic guidance except in two patients, who required repeat fluoroscopically guided gastrostomy.
Conclusion: Fluoroscopically guided gastrostomy is highly feasible and safe and provides adequate feeding support, even when percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy is impossible. Long-term complications, which are mainly tube disturbances, are easily treated.