A gastrostomy makes a new path for food to enter the body. A tube is placed through the belly and into the stomach. It may only be needed until other areas heal, or it may be lasting. Gastrostomy can be done as an:
A gastrostomy may be done at the same time as another stomach surgery.
Surgery may be done in one of two ways:
Open surgery—An incision will be made through the skin and the belly wall. The last incision will be made in the stomach. A tube will then be placed through the skin and into the stomach. This tube will be stitched in place. The incision will be closed with stitches or staples. A bandage will be placed over the site.
Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG)—Uses a small incision and a scope to place the tube and connect it to the stomach. A bandage is then placed over the incision.
How Long Will It Take?
At least 1 hour for open surgery. About 20 to 30 minutes for PEG surgery.
Will It Hurt?
The area will be painful after the surgery. Medicine and home care help.
Average Hospital Stay
The usual length of stay is 1 to 2 days. If there are problems you may need to stay longer.
At the Hospital
After the procedure, the staff will:
Give you IV nutrition for a few days.
Show you how to use and care for the feeding tube.
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to lower your risk of infection, such as:
Washing their hands
Wearing gloves or masks
Keeping your incisions covered
There are also steps you can take to lower your risk of infection, such as:
Washing your hands often and reminding visitors and staff to do the same
Reminding staff to wear gloves or masks
Not letting others touch your incisions
Recovery takes a few weeks. Some activity may be limited at this time.
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if you are not getting better or any of these happen:
Signs of infection, such as fever and chills
Redness, swelling, excess bleeding, or discharge from the incision site
The tube moves out of place, is clogged, or does not work well.
Leaking of feedings around the tube site
Cough, problems breathing, or chest pain
vomiting, or swelling in the belly
Problems passing gas or stool (poop)
Severe belly pain
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
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