Experiences with percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy

World J Surg. 1996 Oct;20(8):1006-8; discussion 1108-9. doi: 10.1007/s002689900153.


Today the procedure of choice for long-term enteral tube feeding in patients with prolonged swallowing difficulties or inabilities is percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG). The primary indications are head and neck cancers, neurologic dysphagia, cancer cachexia, and obstruction of the esophagus and pharynx with enough space for an endoscopic procedure. This technique requires no general anesthesia and is possible in patients with contraindications to surgical gastrostomy. Between September 1994 and April 1995 a total of 115 patients underwent PEG placement attempts. We employed the pull-technique with 15-Freka PEG tubes. The average procedure time, including esophagogastroduodenoscopy, was 17 minutes. In nine cases PEG insertion was impossible owing to severe obstruction of the esophagus. In 46 (40%) patients local abdominal pains started on the first or second postoperative day; 7 of these patients required surgical consultation, and no further intervention was needed. In only one patient was there a serious complication that required surgical intervention: a presumed perforation that turned out to have no correlate upon review. All patients received single-shot antibiotic prophylaxis; and only in those patients with abdominal symptoms do we recommend a prolonged antibiosis. The abdominal symptoms reported were due to a slight leak of gastric fluid causing a topical peritonitis, which required no further treatment. In our experience PEG is a useful alternative to surgical gastrostomy. The simplicity of this procedure leads to low complication rates, short hospitalization, and is possible on an outpatient basis. It is cost-efficient and has a much better psychological tolerance than nasogastric tubes.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis
  • Deglutition Disorders / drug therapy
  • Deglutition Disorders / etiology
  • Deglutition Disorders / surgery*
  • Endoscopy / methods*
  • Female
  • Gastrostomy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Palliative Care / methods
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prospective Studies


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents