If your child is unable to eat enough food, drink enough liquids, or take important medications by mouth, they may not be getting the nutrients and medicine they need. Their provider may recommend a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube to give them a little help.
What is a PEG Tube?
A PEG tube is a small tube made of soft plastic material. It is placed in the stomach through an opening (called a stoma) to give feedings or medication.
While food and liquids go through the tube, many children still continue to eat by mouth, too.
How is a PEG Tube Placed?
A PEG tube is placed using an endoscope — a special tube that helps the provider see inside the esophagus and stomach. The tube is held in place by a stopper inside the stomach, and it is connected to the outside of the abdomen by a flexible disk.
It usually takes about 30 minutes to place the PEG tube.
What Happens After the PEG Tube is Placed?
Your child will need to stay in the hospital for 1 day after the tube has been placed. The amount of formula that goes through the tube is slowly increased to the amount your child will receive at home.
Before you leave the hospital, the nurse will show you how to care for the tube and feed your child. You will also be told where to get your child’s feeding supplies and formula.
You will need to bring your child for a follow-up appointment with their GI physician or nurse practitioner 2 to 3 weeks after the procedure.
What Are the Risks of PEG Tube Placement?
PEG tube placement is considered low risk. However, there is a small possibility of complications, such as:
- Injury to the esophagus, liver, spleen, or other organs, which may require other procedures to repair
- Peritonitis, which is a serious condition in which the lining of the abdominal cavity becomes inflamed (swollen)
How Long Will the PEG Tube Stay In Place?
Your child may only need the tube for a few weeks, but they could need it on a long-term basis. After 8 weeks, if your child still needs the tube, we will replace it with a smaller, skin-level tube called a G-button. The G-button will also be placed using an endoscope.
The G-button is much smaller than the PEG tube, and can be hidden easily under your child’s clothing.
What To Do Next
Make An Appointment
To make an appointment, call 402-955-5700.
For Referring Providers
The Physicians’ Priority Line is your 24-hour link to pediatric specialists at Children’s for referrals, emergency and urgent consults, physician-to-physician consults, admissions, and transport services. Call 855-850-KIDS (5437).
Learn more about referring patients.