Early percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy nutrition in head and neck cancer patients.Acta Otolaryngol. 2004 Sep; 124(7):847-50.AO
Many head and neck cancer patients suffer from poor nutrition. Nutrition is a problem during and after therapy, especially when it consists of extensive surgery, intensive (chemo)radiotherapy or their combination. Additional enteral nutrition has been provided by means of either nasogastric tube feeding, surgical gastrostomy, radiologic percutaneous gastrostomy or percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG). Because of the straightforward, easy technique involved and its low complication rate, PEG has become established as the primary route of nutrition in these patients. Previously, the aim of assisted enteral nutrition was to compensate for already existing malnutrition; nowadays, an additional purpose is to diminish or prevent the development of malnutrition. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the safety of pre-treatment PEG in a sample of patients with an upper aerodigestive tract area malignancy treated in a tertiary referral centre.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
A total of 79 patients with an upper aerodigestive tract area malignancy were treated with a total of 80 PEGs during the period 1997-2001.
Most of the PEGs (62/80; 77.5%) were performed by an otolaryngologist. An open gastrostomy was needed in five cases because of unsuccessful gastroscopy due to oesophageal stricture (n=4) or severe trismus (n=1). Both acute and late complications were minor and the respective complication rates (1/80; 1.3% and 12/80; 15%) were low. In addition, all complications were easily managed and did not seriously affect the actual treatment.
A major advantage of having the PEG performed by the otorhinolaryngologist was the possibility to combine it easily with other necessary procedures, such as panendoscopy, tracheostomy and additional biopsy. In addition, the timing of the procedure was easy to schedule.