Procedure Defined

A gastrostomy, also known as a gastrostomy tube insertion or G-tube insertion, is a procedure in which a surgical opening is created in the abdominal wall and stomach. The procedure is performed using minimally invasive surgery or a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG). Gastrostomies may act as a temporary or long-term treatment, depending on the patient’s condition. For patients who have difficulty swallowing, the opening created by a gastrostomy allows enteral feeding (tube feeding); however, this opening may also help with drainage of the stomach.

Complications and Recovery

Although most gastrostomies are successful, possible complications from the procedure include infection, bleeding, G-tube becoming dislodged, stomach bloating, nausea and diarrhea. Patients who undergo this procedure usually recover and are able to return to normal activities within a few days of the procedure. The approximate length of hospital stay for patients undergoing a gastrostomy is three days.