This is surgery to place a tube through the abdomen and into the stomach. Gastrostomy can be done as:
Endoscopic procedure: a more common and less invasive procedure called
percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy
Open procedure: an incision is made in the abdomen
A gastrostomy tube provides an alternative feeding site. It may be needed to: Feed a person who has a hard time sucking or swallowing or is otherwise unable to eatDrain the stomach of acid and fluids that have built up
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
If you are planning to have gastrostomy, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include: InfectionBleedingAspiration—accidental sucking into the airways of fluid, food, or any foreign materialDamage to other organsAnesthesia-related problemsSkin irritation around the tubeDislodging or malfunctioning of the tubeDiarrhea
Complications are more common in older adults. Factors that may increase the risk of complications include: Obesity
or drug use
Use of certain prescription medicationsPrior abdominal surgeries
Be sure to discuss these risks with your doctor before the surgery.
Your doctor will likely do the following: Medical historyReview of medicationsPhysical examAssessment of swallowing abilityBlood and urine testsX-rays
of the abdomen
Endoscopic examination of stomach—An endoscope is a long tube with a camera at the end that can be put down the throat into the stomach.
Leading up to your procedure: Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to 1 week before the procedure.Avoid food or fluids after midnight before surgery.Arrange for a ride to and from the hospital.
will be used. It will block any pain and keep you asleep through the surgery.
If you are unable to undergo PEG, this will be done as an open procedure. In some cases, gastrostomy may be done at the same time as another stomach surgery. An incision will be made through the skin, abdominal wall, and into the stomach. A tube will then be placed through the skin and into the stomach. This tube will be stitched in place. The incision will be closed.
The doctor will make sure that the tube is placed correctly. You will be moved to the recovery room and monitored closely.
You will have pain after the surgery. Ask your doctor about medication to help with the pain.
This procedure is done in a hospital setting. The usual length of stay is several days. Your doctor may choose to keep you longer if complications arise.
Depending on your condition, you may need to get nutrition through an IV for the first day or two after the tube placement or until your intestine is working normally. You will then be started on clear liquids. You will gradually move to thicker liquids.Learn how to administer tube feedings. Also, learn how to flush out your tube. This will decrease the risk of blockages.Learn what to do if you have a serious complication such as a dislodged tube or aspiration.Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs: Signs of infection, including fever and chillsRedness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or discharge from the incision site around the tubeProblems with the tube, including if it becomes dislodged, clogged, or malfunctions; dislodging is most common during the first two weeks that the tube is in placeLeaking of feedings around the site of the tubeCough, shortness of breath, chest pain
, or abdominal swelling
Inability to pass gas or have a bowel movementSevere abdominal pain
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
Central venous access catheters (CVAC) and gastrostomy (feeding) tubes. Society of Interventional Radiology website. Available at: http://www.sirweb.org/patients/gastrostomy/. Accessed December 1, 2014.
Gastrostomy tube (g-tube). Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/system/surgery/g_tube.html. Updated March 2013. Accessed December 1, 2014.
Gastrostomy tube (g-tube) home care. Cincinnati Children's website. Available at: http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/g/g-tube-care/. Updated June 2012. Accessed December 1, 2014.
Last reviewed December 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.