Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) is procedure during which a tube for feeding is placed without performing an operation of the abdomen (laparotomy) through the skin orally using a flexible, lighted instrument called endoscope into the stomach.
It is used in a patient to provide fluids and nutrition directly into the stomach to a patient who cannon swallow food for a prolonged period of time.
PEG is done by a general surgeon, an otolaryngologist (ENT specialist), radiologist, or a gastroenterologist (gastrointestinal specialist) in a hospital or outpatient surgical facility.
During the procedure, a doctor uses local anesthesia to anesthetize the throat and an endoscope is passed through the mouth and esophagus into the stomach.
Then a doctor will make a small incision over the stomach and push the needle through the skin and into the stomach so he/she can through the needle place a tube into a stomach. Then the tube is sutured in place to the skin.
After a procedure, the patient can go home the same day or the next morning.
The possible complications with PEG include possible infection of the puncture site, clogging of the tube and leakage of the liquid food that is infused through the tube because of dislodgement of the tube.
The advantages of PEG are that it takes less time, carries less risk and costs less than a surgical gastrostomy because it does not require the opening of the abdomen.