A percutaneous endoscopy is also known as an abdominal feeding tube and is often referred to as the acronym PEG. The tube allows nutrients to be fed directly into the gastrointestinal tract, bypassing the mouth and esophagus. While the placement of a feeding tube is a relatively simple procedure, it is usually only recommended for complex conditions. The primary purpose is to provide nutrients to the patients, although the PEG can also be employed to reduce pressure in the gastrointestinal tract due to abdominal malignancies causing gastric outlet or small bowel obstruction.
A feeding tube can be installed in patients who are unable to consume enough food orally to meet their daily needs. The conditions most commonly associated with this procedure are those associated with neurological conditions linked to poor swallowing such as stroke patients, those with cancer of the oral cavity or esophagus, Alzheimer's, and other diseases of the esophagus.
In most cases, the patient will be sedated, and the area of the abdomen where the incision will be made is numbed. The doctor will use an endoscope to see the interior of the stomach to aid in placement. A small incision will be made in the patient’s abdomen, and the PEG is placed through the incision. The procedure only takes 15 to 20 minutes to complete.
Once the procedure is complete, the area will be cleaned and covered with sterile gauze. Once the incision heals, the patient will need to clean the area gently every day with soap and water. The tube should be monitored to ensure it stays in place. If it moves or dislodges, medical treatment should be sought immediately as the incision will begin to close within 24 hours. The PEG feeding tube usually lasts for several months and in some cases up to a year or more. The tube will need to be replaced periodically due to natural wear and tear.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!