PEG

A PEG, or percutaneous endoscopy gastrostomy, is a procedure in which a flexible feeding tube is placed through the abdominal wall and into the stomach.  It is generally used for patients who have difficulty swallowing or cannot get adequate nutrition through the mouth for a variety of reasons.  The procedure is performed at St. Vincent’s Medical Center. Preparation involves not eating or drinking for 6 hours prior.  In similar fashion to an endoscopy (see ‘Endoscopy’), patients are sedated and then a flexible tube is inserted into the mouth and advanced to the stomach.  The doctor then identifies an appropriate spot on the abdominal wall thru which the feeding tube is then placed.  A dressing is placed over the PEG site, and liquid nutritional supplements and medications are then administered thru the PEG tube.  The decision as to whether or not a patient may eat or drink while a PEG tube is in place varies and should be addressed on a case by case basis.  The procedure itself is safe.  Possible risks include bleeding, infection and malfunction of the PEG tube. For more information, please refer to theASGE (American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy) website.