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Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG)

What Is It?

Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG) is a feeding tube that is placed into the stomach to supply nutrition. It is used in patients who cannot swallow normally, have poor oral intake, or who cannot keep food down. Many times, PEG tubes are placed in patients having surgical procedures that may later interfere with eating.

How Do I Prepare?

  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before your procedure.
  • Discuss with your doctor what medications you should take.
  • If you are taking medication to thin your blood (e.g., Coumadin, Warfarin, Plavix, or aspirin), you should check with your doctor about stopping these medications before this procedure.
  • Medications that your doctor has instructed you to take can be taken with a small amount of water.
  • If you wear dentures, they must be removed for the procedure.
  • Be sure to arrange transportation. Someone must stay with you at the hospital until discharge and drive you home. Transportation will be verified before the procedure. You may use a taxi cab for your transportation only if you have a person accompanying you other than the taxi cab driver. Your procedure may be cancelled if these arrangements are not made.

What Happens During the Procedure?

  • Consent is signed.
  • Your stomach must be completely empty for the best and safest procedure.
  • An intravenous needle (IV) is inserted.
  • You will be given medication to make you sleepy and relaxed and to minimize discomfort.
  • Depending on your doctor's preference, your throat may be sprayed with a medication to numb your gag reflex.
  • Oxygen will be used throughout the procedure.
  • Your blood pressure and pulse will be monitored throughout the procedure.
  • You will be lying on your left side throughout the procedure.
  • A mouthpiece will be inserted and you will bite down on it with your teeth. The scope is inserted into your mouth to the back of your throat, into the esophagus and stomach.
  • The procedure takes about 30-40 minutes.
  • Recovery time varies depending upon your doctor's preference.