Background and aims: The standard method of removing percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tubes is by gastroscopy. This has implications for endoscopy time and resources, and we believe is not always necessary. Depending on the type of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube used we often used the 'cut and push' method. This involves cutting the catheter at skin level and allowing the tube and internal bumper to spontaneously pass. The cut and push method also represents a considerable resource saving compared to the endoscopic method that we think warrants further discussion.
Method: We reviewed all the files of the percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tubes removed in our unit over the last 4 years.
Results: During the period of July 1995 to July 1999, we have inserted 384 percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tubes. Seven tubes have been removed endoscopically and 73 tubes have been removed with the cut and push method. Only two possible complications have been recorded (2.7%).
Conclusions: We believe that we have provided further evidence that percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tubes can be removed safely using the cut and push method. Patients who are often frail and who have multiple medical problems are saved an often-long journey to the endoscopy unit as well as the hazards of an endoscopy. The saving in resources in what is already an overworked system by not performing endoscopies is also considerable.
Copyright 2000 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.