What is PEG Placement?

PEG placement, which stands for percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy, is a method that places a tube directly into the stomach to provide food, liquid, and medications. This procedure bypasses the mouth and esophagus and is used for patients who have difficulty swallowing.

Benefits & Risks

Patients who have difficulty swallowing or are unable to get adequate nutrition through the mouth can benefit from this procedure.

Some complications can occur with the PEG placement, including pain around the PEG site, leakage of stomach contents around the tube site, and tube malfunction or dislodging. Other complications include infection of the PEG site, bleeding, aspiration, and perforation.

What to Expect

Before your scheduled PEG placement, you will be given specific prep instructions that you must follow. These instructions include diet and medication restrictions in the week leading up to the procedure.

The procedure takes about 20-30 minutes. Patients generally receive an intravenous sedative and local anesthesia, and an antibiotic is given by vein before the procedure. A small incision is made on the left side of the abdomen, and then a small, flexible, hollow tube (catheter) with a balloon or flared tip is inserted through the stomach. This procedure allows the doctor to place and secure a feeding tube into the stomach. Patients generally receive an intravenous sedative and local anesthesia, and an antibiotic is given by vein prior to the procedure. Under these circumstances, patients are required to have a licensed driver take them back home. Patients can usually go home on the day of the procedure or the next day.

Following the procedure, a dressing will be placed on the PEG site. The dressing is typically removed after one or two days. Once removed, you should clean the site once a day with diluted soap and water and keep the site dry between cleansings. No special dressing or covering is needed.

Post-procedure, you'll have some restrictions on eating and drinking. Some patients may be able to eat and drink orally, but this should be discussed with a physician.

PEG tubes can last for months or years. However, the tubes can break down or become clogged over time. Your doctor can remove or replace a tube with or without sedatives or anesthesia, depending on the circumstances. In some cases, no replacement is needed, and the hole will be allowed to close up.