Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG) and its variation Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrojejunostomy (PEGJ), has become the method of choice to achieve an enteral access route in patients who require long term enteral nutrition, especially in the area of the At Home Enteral Nutrition (AHEN). We present our experience on the first PEG's and PEGJ's carried out in our hospital.
We studied 48 patients (14 women and 34 men) in whom a PEG/Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrojejunostomy (PEGJ) was indicated, as they required enteral nutrition for prolonged periods of time (> 4 weeks) and/or they presented obstructive dysphagia, neuromotor dysphagia, or incorrigible vomiting in the two cases in whom PEGJ was carried out. 34 patients underwent the Ponsky-Gauderer technique, 6 patients underwent the Sacks-Vine technique, and 2 patients underwent a PEGJ. 24 hours after the PEGJ enteral nutrition (EN) was begun in a progressive manner. During the hospitalization period there was a daily follow up of the patient. In those cases in which At Home Enteral Nutrition was programmed, the patients/families were trained in the techniques and the care of the PEG and the EN, and the control was carried out through the Nutrition out patient department.
PEG was successfully carried out in 42 patients (88%). 35 patients had previously been given EN through a naso-gastric tube (NGT), while in 7 cases the PEG was the first enteral access route. The average duration of the PEG was 212 days, and 27 patients (64%) needed the PEG for more than 3 months. The mean caloric supply was 1921 +/- 200 kcal/day. The mode of administration was by means of an intermittent infusion by gravity in 31 cases, and by continuous infusion using a volumetric pump in 11 patients. Two patients with pregnancy induced hyperemesis underwent a PEGJ in the 3rd and the 4th month of pregnancy, with the pregnancy being successfully brought to term and ending in vaginal deliveries. Carrying out a PEG permitted release from hospital and the programming of At Home Enteral Nutrition in 30 patients. With respect to the evolution of the patients, 22 patients have died during the course of the study. 18 patients remain in follow up in an ambulatory Enteral Nutrition program, and in the two patients with pregnancy induced hyperemesis, the PEGJ was removed after the pregnancy was successfully ended. There were no complications of any kind in 21 patients. The most common complication was the infection of the gastrostomy, which occurred in 13 patients. There was an accidental removal of the gastrostomy tube in 3 patients. In 3 cases there was an eversion of the gastric mucosa through the ostomy within the first 24-hours, and 20 days after the PEG respectively. In 2 cases there was an incarceration of the gastrostomy tube in the abdominal wall. Only two patients showed an important reflux of the gastric contents. There were no deaths as a result of PEG complications.
From our experience we can conclude the advantages of PEG as a long term nutritional support, showing a low incidence of complications, and the endoscopic technique has a zero mortality.