Push-PEG or Pull-PEG: Does the Technique Matter? A Prospective Study Comparing Outcomes After Gastrostomy Placement

J Pediatr Surg. 2024 Mar 21:S0022-3468(24)00199-4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2024.03.045. Online ahead of print.


Background: Push-PEG (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy) with T-fastener fixation (PEG-T) allows one-step insertion of a balloon tube or button, and avoids contamination of the stoma by oral bacteria. However, PEG-T is a technically more demanding procedure with a significant learning curve. The aim of the present study was to compare outcomes after PEG-T and pull-PEG in a setting where both procedures were well established.

Materials and methods: The study is a prospective cohort study including all patients between 0 and 18 year undergoing PEG-T and pull-PEG between 2017 and 2020 at a combined local and tertiary referral center. Complications and parent reported outcomes were recorded during hospital stay, after 14 days and 3 months postoperatively.

Results: 82 (93%) of eligible PEG-T and 37 (86%) pull-PEG patients were included. The groups were not significantly different with regard to age or weight. Malignant disorders and heart conditions were more frequent in the pull-PEG group, whilst neurodevelopmental disorders were more frequent in the PEG-T group (p < 0.001). 54% in both groups had a complication within 2 weeks. Late complications (between 2 weeks and 3 months postoperatively) occurred in 63% PEG-T vs 62% pull-PEG patients (p = 0.896). More parents in the pull-PEG group (49%) reported that the gastrostomy tube restricted their child's activity, compared to PEG-T (24%) (p = 0.01). At 3 months follow-up, more pull-PEG patients (43%) reported discomfort from the gastrostomy compared to PEG-T (21%) (p = 0.03).

Conclusion: Overall complication rates were approximately similar, but pull-PEG was associated with more discomfort and restriction of activity.

Levels of evidence: Treatment study level II.

Keywords: Child; Gastrostomy; PEG; Pediatric surgery; Push-PEG; Tube feeding.