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Peg Tube Insertion

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 5, 2023.

What do I need to know about percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube insertion?

PEG insertion is a procedure to place a soft, plastic feeding tube into your stomach. You may get nutrition or medicine through the tube. The tube may also be used to remove air and fluid from your stomach.

How do I prepare for the procedure?

  • Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for your procedure. He or she may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your procedure.
  • Tell your provider about all the medicines you currently take. He or she will tell you if you need to stop any medicine before the procedure, and when to stop. He or she will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of your procedure.
  • Arrange to have someone drive you home after the procedure and stay with you.

What will happen during the procedure?

  • Your healthcare provider will guide an endoscope into your stomach. An endoscope is a bendable tube with a light on the end. Air may be injected into your stomach so your provider can see clearly.
  • Your provider will make a small incision in your abdomen. He or she will bring one end of the PEG tube out through the opening in your abdomen (stoma). The other end of the PEG will stay in your stomach.

What should I expect after the procedure?

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. You will be monitored closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. You may then be able to go home.

  • The tube will be taped to your abdomen. The area will be covered to keep it clean and prevent infection. You may see drainage for a few days.
  • The area where the tube was placed may be sore or tender. This is normal and should get better in a day or two.

What are the risks of PEG tube insertion?

  • The endoscope may cause damage or bleeding in your esophagus, stomach, or abdomen. During or after the procedure, liquid from your stomach may get into your lungs and cause an infection. Your stoma and skin around it may be bruised and painful. Sores may form in the skin around your stoma, and tissue may grow over the PEG tube.
  • The end of the PEG tube in your stomach may move out of place. Your PEG tube may become blocked and it may crack, break, or leak. Your stomach may not empty into your intestines correctly. A fistula (abnormal tissue opening) may form between your skin and stomach or intestines. Your stoma may become infected. The infection may spread to other areas of your body and become life-threatening.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

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