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Can Oncol Nurs J. 2003 Fall;13(4):212-9.

Managing bowel obstruction in ovarian cancer using a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube.

[Article in English, French]

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Ottawa Hospital, General Campus, Ottawa, ON.


An estimated 2,500 women were diagnosed with and 1,500 died from ovarian cancer in Canada in 2002. Up to 42% of patients in the palliative phase develop a malignant bowel obstruction. Options for management include medical therapy, surgery, and/or a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube. The objective of this quality improvement study was to: 1) examine if successful palliation was achieved using a PEG tube, and 2) identify opportunities to improve the quality of nursing care provided. A retrospective review of 24 patient records revealed that 75% did not have nausea/vomiting by time of discharge; 92% resumed a clear fluid diet; 83% were discharged from the acute care setting; and 70% did not require re-admission. A PEG tube may effectively palliate women with non-operable bowel obstruction in advanced/recurrent cancer of the ovary. Opportunities for improving care are presented.

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