Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy: Before Your Procedure
What is a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy?
Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy is a procedure to make an opening between the skin of your belly and your stomach. The doctor will put a thin tube called a gastrostomy tube into your stomach through the opening. This tube is sometimes called a G-tube, a PEG tube, or a feeding tube. The tube can put liquid nutrition, fluid, and medicines directly into your stomach. It also may be used to drain liquid or air from the stomach.
The doctor will put a thin, lighted tube (scope) into your mouth. The scope is used to guide the feeding tube to the stomach. The doctor will pull the end of the feeding tube through an incision in your belly. This end of the tube stays outside the body.
You'll go home the same day as your procedure. Before you go home, your doctor or nurse will teach you how to use and care for your feeding tube.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
How do you prepare for the procedure?
Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.
Preparing for the procedure
- Be sure you have someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
- Understand exactly what procedure is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
- If you take aspirin or some other blood thinner, ask your doctor if you should stop taking it before your procedure. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do. These medicines increase the risk of bleeding.
- Tell your doctor ALL the medicines and natural health products you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your procedure. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the procedure and how soon to do it.
- Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance care plan. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It's a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.
What happens on the day of the procedure?
Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If you don't, your procedure may be cancelled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of procedure, take them with only a sip of water.
Take a bath or shower before you come in for your procedure. Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.
Do not shave the surgical site yourself.
Take off all jewellery and piercings. And take out contact lenses, if you wear them.
At the hospital or surgery centre
Bring a picture ID.
You will be kept comfortable and safe by your anesthesia provider. The anesthesia may make you sleep. Or it may just numb the area being worked on.
The procedure will take about 30 minutes.
You will have a feeding tube coming out of the incision in your belly. You may have gauze around the incision. You may have a plastic bag attached to the end of your feeding tube. The bag will be removed before you go home.
When should you call your doctor?
- You have questions or concerns.
- You don't understand how to prepare for your procedure.
- You become ill before the procedure (such as fever, flu, or a cold).
- You need to reschedule or have changed your mind about having the procedure.
Where can you learn more?
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter Q800 in the search box to learn more about "Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy: Before Your Procedure".
Current as of: June 6, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kenneth Bark MD - General Surgery, Colon and Rectal Surgery