Overview: The Basics
Percutaneous Endoscopy Gastrostomy is an endoscopic procedure in which a feeding tube, referred to as a PEG tube, is implanted into the stomach as a means to provide food, liquids and medications to people who are having difficulty swallowing. A PEG is placed in order to maintain adequate nutrition.
What to Expect: During the Procedure
Prior to the procedure, you will be given a pain reliever and sedative through an intravenous (IV). You are also given a local anesthetic where the PEG tube will be placed.
A physician places a thin, flexible endoscope into your mouth and advances the endoscope into your stomach. The endoscope is used to help navigate the gastrointestinal tract to determine correct placement of the PEG tube in the stomach lining. The PEG tube will exit through a small incision made in the lower abdomen. The procedure lasts from 30 to 45 minutes.
Why would you have a PEG?
Your doctor may require a PEG tube if you cannot eat, digest or absorb food due to:
- Esophageal cancer, oral surgery or stroke
- Major surgery, burns or trauma
- Radiation therapy
- Inflammatory bowel disease affecting the small intestine
What happens afterwards?
Following the placement of the PEG, you will be observed closely for any complications. A nurse will help to change your dressings as needed. In the first 24 to 48 hours, you should expect to see some drainage around the PEG tube.
After the dressing has been removed and the area has healed, it is important to keep the area cleaned with soap and water to avoid infection. A dietitian will teach you how to use and care for your PEG tube, and you will be started on enteral tube feeding (feeding directly through the gastrointestinal tract).
How to Prepare
You must not eat or drink for eight hours prior to the placement of the PEG tube. PEG placements are done in the hospital and you may need to stay overnight.