PEG stands for percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy. This procedure is used to place a flexible feeding tube through the abdominal wall and into the stomach. After the procedure the patient will be able to take in nutrition, fluids and/or medications directly into the stomach, bypassing the mouth and esophagus. The procedure is performed with a lighted flexible tube called an endoscope to guide the creation of a small opening through the skin of the abdomen and directly into the stomach, once the opening is made the feeding tube can then be successfully placed and secured.
Possible complications include pain or infection of the PEG site, leakage of stomach contents around the tube site, and dislodgment or malfunction of the tube aspiration (inhalation of gastric contents into the lungs), bleeding and perforation (an unwanted hole in the bowel wall).
PEG tubes can last for months or years. However, because they can break down or become clogged over extended periods of time, they might need to be replaced. The PEG tube can easily be removed or replaced without sedatives or anesthesia, although your doctor might choose to use sedation and endoscopy in some cases. If the PEG tube is removed the PEG sites close quickly.