Medical Definition of Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG)

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG): A surgical procedure for placing a feeding tube without having to perform an open laparotomy (operation on the abdomen). The aim of PEG is to feed those who cannot swallow. PEG may be done by a surgeon, gastroenterologist (GI specialist). It is done in a. hospital or outpatient surgical facility. The patient is usually mildly sedated and local anesthesia (usually lidocaine or another spray) is used to anesthetize the throat. An endoscope (a flexible, lighted instrument) is passed through the mouth, throat and esophagus to the stomach. The surgeon then makes a small incision (cut) in the skin of the abdomen and pushes a feeding tube through the skin into the stomach and sutures (ties) it in place. The patient can usually go home the same day or the next morning. Possible complications include wound infection (as in any kind of surgery) and dislodging or malfunction of the tube. A gastrostomy (a surgical opening into the stomach) is made percutaneously (through the skin) using an endoscope to put the feeding tube in place. PEG takes less time, carries less risk and costs less than a classic surgical gastrostomy which requires opening the abdomen.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018