What is Gastrostomy Tube Placement?
A gastrostomy tube (or PEG Tube) is a procedure to place a feeding tube in the stomach. This is usually done in patients who cannot swallow or are unable to maintain adequate nutrition due to other medical issues. An endoscopy is first performed, where a flexible camera is inserted into the mouth and passed into the esophagus and stomach. After this area is examined, a small incision is made on the abdominal wall and a rubber feeding tube is placed in the stomach. The tube can then be used to deliver nutritional feeding and/or medications.
Preparation for Procedure
- Continue all medications prior to the exam unless otherwise directed by Dr.Singh
- If you take any blood-thinners such as Aspirin, Plavix, Coumadin or others, please discuss this with Dr.Singh as he may need to stop these prior to your procedure
- Do not eat or drink anything after midnight
- The morning of your procedure, you may take all of your usual medications unless otherwise directed by Dr.Singh.
- You will be sedated during your endoscopy. Because of this you will not be able to drive after the procedure and will need to arrange for someone to drive you home.
In addition to signing the customary forms, your medical history and blood work will be evaluated one more time to ensure that the procedure is safe for you. You may receive a dose of antibiotics with an intravenous sedative. The sedative is intended to make you sleepy and help your relax. Your vital signs will be monitored throughout the procedure. Dr. Singh will perform an upper endoscopy by inserting the endoscope though your mouth and gently advancing it into your stomach. With the help of the camera which gives him the opportunity to visually examine the interior of your stomach, Dr. Singh will choose the best location for inserting the feeding tube. Your abdomen will be prepared and numbed. Dr. Singh will make a very tiny incision on the abdomen and then place the Gastrostomy Tube. The entire process is completed in about 20-30 minutes.
Once the procedure is completed, Dr. Singh will place a dressing over the tube. The sedation IV will be removed, and you’ll be recovering from the immediate effects of the sedative for about an hour. Dr. Singh will talk with you, or your family, as well as set up any necessary follow-up appointment. Both you, and the members of your household, will learn how to take care of the gastrostomy tube and how to administer feedings. You will be provided with written instructions. If necessary, a home health service will be arranged to help you learn how to use and maintain the gastrostomy tube. Since you won’t be able to drive after the procedure, you will need a ride home where you’ll need to rest for at least 24 hours. You won’t be able to use the tube for the first 24 hours after it has been inserted. The tube will need to be properly maintained. (Still, even a well-maintained feeding tube may become dislodged, obstructed, or begin to leak. In such cases, the tube may need to be replaced using the same opening.) Most patients have no complication after a feeding tube is inserted. However, should you experience chills or fever, bleeding around or through the tube, swelling or redness in the area surrounding the tube, or abdominal pain, please call Dr. Singh promptly.