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Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2009 Jul;91(5):404-9. doi: 10.1308/003588409X391749. Epub 2009 Apr 2.

General paediatric surgical provision of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy in a district general hospital--a 12-year experience.

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Department of Surgery, Luton and Dunstable Hospital, Luton, UK.



A small, but significant, number of children require long-term nutritional support. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the safety and efficacy of providing a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) service for children in a district general hospital and to raise awareness of the suitability of the procedure to be performed on paediatric surgery lists in similar hospitals across the UK.


A multidisciplinary paediatric nutrition team was established and all children accepted for PEG insertion between 1995 and 2007 were entered onto a database prospectively and are included in this study. PEG tubes were inserted by the standard pull-through technique under general anaesthetic.


A total of 172 procedures were performed in 76 children. The median age at first tube insertion was 3 years (range, 0.5-18 years). Length of follow-up ranged from 1 month to 12.6 years. Fifty-eight children (76%) had a neurological abnormality, the commonest being cerebral palsy. All but one procedure were performed successfully, of which 63 (37%) were new insertions, 99 change of tube, 4 changed from surgical gastrostomy and 6 from PEG to button gastrostomy. The median hospital stay was 2 days (range, 2-7 days) for new insertions and 1 day for tube changes. There were 10 (6%) early complications within 30 days, the commonest being peritubal infection (6). The 39 late complications included 16 peritubal infection/granulomata, 9 'buried bumpers', 4 worsening of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, 2 gastrocolic fistulae, 3 gastrocutaneous fistulae and 4 tubal migration. There was no mortality.


We have demonstrated that paediatric PEG procedures and continuing management by a supporting team can be successfully and efficiently provided in the district general hospital. It should be possible for the majority of similar hospitals to provide local access and increase the availability of PEG feeding for children.

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