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J Pediatr Surg. 2001 Sep;36(9):1412-5.

Complications of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy with or without concomitant antireflux surgery in 96 children.

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Department of Pediatric Surgery, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands.



A study was conducted of the complications of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) with or without antireflux surgery (ARS).


A retrospective review was conducted of all patients, receiving a PEG in the period January 1993 through December 1997. Patients' characteristics including underlying disease, indications, results of preoperative screening, and complications were recorded. PEG placement was performed with the Seldinger technique and, in some cases, under laparoscopic control. In the event of a pathologic pH study during preoperative screening, laparoscopic antireflux surgery (ARS) was added.


Mean age was 5 years and 10 months. The majority of the children were mentally retarded. The main indications for PEG were vomiting, food refusal, inability to swallow, and aspiration. Fifty-nine patients had PEG without ARS. Nineteen of these patients had concomitant laparoscopy. Thirty-seven patients had PEG with ARS. One patient died postoperatively of gastric leakage. PEG-related complications occurred in 31% of the patients. There was a significant higher incidence of complications in the group of patients that underwent ARS together with PEG compared with PEG placement without ARS. Roughly half of the complications were peristomal infection related to the use of T-fasteners and the other half gastroduodenal obstruction caused by the balloon of the gastrostomy catheter, both preventable complications. Preoperative vomiting without a positive pH-study disappeared in most cases after PEG placement. Although the pH study normalized in 34 of 37 patients after concomitant ARS, vomiting persisted in 7 of 17 patients. PEG improved the nutritional status in 75% of the children.


PEG improved the nutritional status in the majority of the children. However, PEG placement can lead to a considerable amount of complications, especially when combined with ARS. ARS together with PEG is successful in treating GER but does not necessarily cure preexistent vomiting. PEG alone cures vomiting in 80% of the patients and rarely leads to vomiting. There seems no good reason for combining PEG with ARS. Only if symptoms progress after PEG, ARS should be considered. Caretakers and patients should be well informed before placement.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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