Short article: Buried bumper syndrome in children

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Buried bumper syndrome (BBS) is a serious complication in gastrostomy-dependent children. Many need surgical correction. On account of comorbidities, this becomes a high-risk procedure. Our aim was to review the incidence of BBS in children and to identify the risk factors.

Patients and methods

Retrospective review of patients’ records over 10 years, 2006–2015, was carried out. Types of tubes, operative interventions, comorbidities and records were noted. Two-tailed Fisher’s exact test was used for statistical analysis.


A total of 535 patients were reviewed. Overall, 475 had only percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) and 60 had a jejunal extension with percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG-J). Twenty-nine patients (PEG-J – 16/26; PEG – 13/26) had a total of 31 BBS episodes. The overall incidence of BBS in our study was 5.4%. The age at presentation ranged from 1 to 18 years (median 8.6 years). All had significant comorbidities (neurodevelopmental 26/29, cardiorespiratory 14/29, genetic 16/29). Overall, 27/29 had two or more comorbidities. The mean time to development of BBS was 1025±634 days. BBS was found in the second or the subsequent tube in four patients with PEGs (P<0.0004) and in 10 PEG-Js (P<0.0001). Twenty-five patients needed laparotomy. There were no postoperative deaths.


In BBS, the two significant risk factors identified were a having PEG-J and two or more previous gastrostomy insertions. Vigilance in documentation and prolonged follow-up to provide regular education to carers can reduce the incidence of this preventable complication.

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