Gastrostomy (PEG) tube placement is a procedure performed to place a small flexible feeding tube through the abdominal wall into the stomach.
After proper sedation to ensure patient comfort, a flexible instrument (called an endoscope) is inserted through the mouth and esophagus and into the stomach. Using the endoscope, the physician locates an area where the stomach lies just below the skin in the left upper portion of the abdomen. The tube is then inserted through a small incision in the abdominal wall.
A feeding tube is typically inserted if the patient is unable to safely pass food from the mouth through the esophagus and into the stomach. This may be due to a stroke or other neurologic disorder or a cancerous growth in the throat or esophagus. The feeding tube can subsequently be removed if the patient recovers and is able to eat and drink normally.