Endoscopic percutaneous gastrostoma (PEG) is a surgical procedure in which a feeding tube is placed in the stomach. This involves creating an artificial external opening in the stomach, either for nutritional support or for gastric decompression. This intervention requires non-invasive surgery that is performed with endoscopy techniques. Find out below how to change the feeding tube!
The insertion of a tube into the stomach allows the safe feeding of people whose digestive functions are not performed properly due to health problems.
This procedure is often used in people with dysphagia (typical of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). People who have difficulty swallowing the bolus (a mixture of food and saliva that forms in the mouth during the chewing process) often undergo endoscopic percutaneous gastrostomy. The procedure is also used frequently in patients who have suffered a stroke or other form of neurological damage.
If we compare an endoscopic percutaneous gastrostomy with a nasogastric tube (the one placed from the nose to the stomach), PEG has several advantages. First, there is a significant reduction in possible complications.
In addition, personal safety is enhanced by avoiding the use of most of the digestive tract. PEG also improves the patient’s psychological well-being, as the procedure is much more discreet. This is especially true for young patients, who are often concerned about the aesthetic limitations of a nasogastric tube.
How to insert the feeding tube?
When does the feeding tube change?
Endoscopic percutaneous gastrostoma is a fairly safe procedure. However, there may be complications that require removal of the tube in patients who require prolonged enteral nutrition.
The most common complication of this procedure is an infection. The infection may have originated in the incision made in the abdominal wall or in the feeding tube. In these cases, it is mandatory to remove the tube and administer an antibiotic treatment to eradicate the infection. Otherwise, there is a risk of septic shock.
How to change the feeding tube?
- First, sterilize and disinfect the area to be worked on. Then disconnect the feeding mechanism so that the feeding tube is clean.
- Next, check that the probe balloon is positioned correctly and that it is working correctly. To do this, sterilized water is introduced into the valve to inflate it. If it inflates properly and there are no leaks, then the balloon is functional.
- Then carefully clean the area around the tube in the patient’s stomach and deflate the balloon holding the gastrostome. As soon as the probe stops working, it can be removed by pulling firmly with one hand, while the abdomen is held firmly with the other.
- Insert the new probe through the same hole. Ideally, the feeding tube will form a right angle with the abdomen to facilitate installation.
- Inflate the balloon again until the new probe is positioned. Carefully pull the feeding tube until it stops in the gastric wall.
- At the end of this process, the whole area is disinfected again to prevent future infections in the new feeding tube.