PEG Tube Insertion


PEG Tube Insertion

What is a PEG tube?

A PEG is a feeding tube placed inside the stomach using a Gastroscope. To insert the tube, an endoscope is passed through your mouth, down the gullet into the stomach. Once in the stomach, a bright light will be shone showing the position of endoscope tip inside the stomach, to help find the right position to place the feeding tube.

Why do I need a PEG?

You will need a PEG if you are not able to safely take enough nutrition and fluid by mouth to maintain a healthy body. This could be because you have had a Stroke, suffered a neurological illness like Multiple Sclerosis or Motor Neurone Disease, or you’re getting treatments like radiotherapy for head and neck cancer.

What does the procedure involve?

  • A small cannula or plastic tube will be inserted into a vein so that a sedative can be given for the medical procedure. This would help you feel more relaxed and sleepy.
  • Your throat may be sprayed with an anaesthetic that has a numbing effect so you won’t feel any pain.
  • A small device for recording the pulse and breathing will be attached to your finger and you will be given oxygen through a nasal cannula for the duration of the medical procedure
  • You will be asked to lie on your left side at first, then you’ll turn onto your back once the Gastroscope has been inserted.
  • While you are lying on your left side, a small mouth guard will be placed in your mouth.
  • After you are sedated, the Endoscopist will gently insert the gastroscope through your mouth and into your stomach.
  • The stomach will be gently filed with air so that the lining can be visible.
  • The air is taken out at the end of the test.
  • An assistant will give some local anaesthetic to the skin, and then make a small incision in the abdomen through which a wire will be inserted and pulled up through the mouth.
  • The wire is attached to the PEG tube and pulled back up through the mouth into position.
  • A biopsy may also be done during the examination to be sent to the laboratory for more tests.
  • A video or photographs may also be taken.
  • The nurse may need to remove saliva from your mouth during the medical procedure using a small suction tube.

After the examination

  • You will be taken to the recovery room to rest.
  • You may still have a little wind but this will go naturally.
  • You will normally stay in hospital for some days to learn about the care of your PEG and to check for complications.
  • You may have a minor sore throat, but this will pass.

Are there any significant risks?

PEG placement is usually a safe and well-tolerated medical procedure. The risk of complications are higher than in a Gastroscopy because more medical procedures are needed to place the tube. The frequency of complications is usually between 5 and 10%. Rarely, the condition of some patients may deteriorate after the medical procedure because of more serious complications in about 3% of patients. The risks include:

  • Damage to crowned teeth.
  • A reaction to the sedative. The sedative can change your breathing by making it slow and shallow.
  • Bleeding from the gastrostomy site or from one of the other organs in the abdomen.
  • Perforation, which is a little tear in the wall of the bowel may occur. This is rare. This would require a stay in hospital and treatment with antibiotics and may require surgical repair.
  • Infection at the gastrostomy site or within the abdomen.

DisclaimerThe information provided herein is for patient general knowledge only and should not be used during any medical emergency, diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Duplication for personal and commercial use must be authorized in writing by

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