(also called Percutaneous Gastrostomy tube insertion or PEG tube insertion)

If you have trouble swallowing, can’t eat enough to nourish you, or you inhale food when you eat, your doctor may prescribe a feeding tube. If there is a need for the tube to remain for a long time, the tube will enter your stomach through a small incision in the skin of your abdomen over the stomach. A percutaneous gastrostomy, the process of inserting a flexible tube in your stomach, is typically performed using fluoroscopy (x-ray video).

What happens during a gastrostomy?

You will have already discussed the treatment options with the physician doing the procedure. When it’s time to begin, we’ll take you to a special room that is similar to an operating room. We most often use conscious sedation, or moderate anesthesia, during a nephrostomy procedure. In this case, you’ll remain slightly awake throughout the procedure. We will monitor your pulse, blood pressure, and your breathing throughout the procedure.

In addition to being sedated, we’ll give you a local anesthetic in your abdomen so you won’t feel pain while we make the incision in your belly. We’ll clean the skin on the left side of your abdomen with a special solution to minimize infection. We’ll fill your stomach with air through a tube placed into your stomach. Then, your interventionalist will make a small incision in your abdomen and insert a hollow tube (g-tube) into your stomach, securing the end of the tube on your abdomen. It takes about a week to heal from a gastrostomy. Since you will be sedated, plan to have someone drive you home following your procedure.

We will give you instructions for how to care for—and use—your feeding tube. You’ll start slowly, with clear fluids.

After your procedure, your interventionalist will review the results of your gastrostomy with you and your physician so he or she can discuss the next steps with you. We may ask you to return so the interventionalist can check how well you have done after your procedure, and to see if you need any other procedures to make you better.