Complication rate lower after percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy than after surgical gastrostomy a prospective, randomized trial

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Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) has increasingly replaced surgical gastrostomy (SG) as the primary procedure for the long-term nutrition of patients with swallowing disorders. This prospective randomized study compares PEG with SG in terms of effectiveness and safety.


This study enrolled 70 patients with swallowing disorders, mainly attributable to neurologic impairment. All the patients, eligible for both techniques, were randomized to PEG (pull method) or SG. The groups were comparable in terms of age, body mass index, and underlying diseases. Complications were reported 7 and 30 days after the operative procedure.


The procedures were successfully completed for all the patients. The median operative time was 15 min for PEG and 35 min for SG (p < 0.001). The rate of complications was lower for PEG (42.9%) than for SG (74.3%; p < 0.01). The 30-day mortality rates were 5.7% for PEG and 14.3% for SG (nonsignificant difference).


The findings show PEG to be an efficient method for gastrostomy tube placement with a lower complication rate than SG. In addition, PEG is faster to perform and requires fewer medical resources. The authors consider PEG to be the primary procedure for gastrostomy tube placement.

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