Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy Complications in a Tertiary-Care Center

Lockett, Mark A.; Templeton, Mia L.; Byrne, T. Karl; Norcross, E. Douglas
February 2002
American Surgeon;Feb2002, Vol. 68 Issue 2, p117
Academic Journal
Since its introduction in 1980 the percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) has become the procedure of choice for establishing enteral access. However, there is still a relatively high complication rate associated with PEG placement. We reviewed the complications associated with PEG placement at our tertiary-care referral center. A retrospective chart review was conducted on patients over 17 years of age undergoing PEG placement between January 1, 1994 and March 1, 1996. Indications for surgery, antibiotic use, and postoperative complications were determined. There were 166 PEGs placed during this time and 27 (16.3%) complications. There was one death (0.6%) directly related to PEG placement. Thirteen patients (7.8%) died within 30 days of PEG placement and an additional 12 patients (7.2%) died before leaving the hospital. Wound infections occurred in nine (5.4%) patients including one case of necrotizing fasciitis. Only four of 153 (2.6%) patients who received preoperative antibiotics developed wound infections, whereas five of 13 (38.5%) patients without antibiotic prophylaxis developed infections. We conclude that percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy is a safe and effective way of establishing enteral access in most patients. A relatively high mortality rate can be expected as a result of underlying medical problems. Antibiotics should be given to help prevent local wound infections.


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