PEG tube feeding
There may come a time when oral feeding is no longer safe, and the risk of aspiration (when foreign materials such as food enter the lungs) and chest infections outweigh the wish to keep eating orally.
Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy is also known as gastrostomy or simply PEG tube feeding. To enable PEG tube feeding, a minor surgical procedure is performed to insert a small, flexible feeding tube through the abdominal wall and into the stomach. Your child or loved one will be placed under anaesthetic for the procedure.
PEG tube feeding allows nutrition, fluids and medications to enter the stomach directly. In avoiding the mouth and oesophagus, it also avoids any difficulties in chewing or swallowing and any aspiration risk.
It is common to be concerned about if or when to introduce a PEG feeding tube. Your specialist and the gastroenterology team will be able to support you to introduce it at the best time for your child or loved one.
Factors that will be considered when making the decision include:
- whether it will assist with the safe administration of medicines
- whether it will help with nutrition and to minimise any aspiration risk that may be associated with chewing and swallowing difficulties
- risks and benefits of anaesthesia in relation to the disease stage