Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy for Gastric Decompression After Repeated Intestinal Obstruction After Open Abdominal Surgery

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In patients with repeated intestinal obstructions after open abdominal surgery, aerophagia associated with disturbances in gastrointestinal passage causes the accumulation of large amounts of air, resulting in chronic symptoms including abdominal pain and distention and consequently malnutrition. We successfully used percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) for long-term gastric decompression in 2 cases with aerophagia. The first case was a 69-year-old Japanese man admitted for repeated intestinal obstruction after an appendectomy. After the last surgery for intestinal obstruction, the patient experienced repeated abdominal distention and anorexia, resulting in weight loss and malnutrition. The second case was a 79-year-old man complaining of abdominal pain and distention. He had a history of resection of the lower pharynx and larynx owing to total laryngectomy and had received a permanent tracheostomy. He then underwent surgery for intestinal obstruction. Because the patients' abdominal symptoms were unresponsive to administration of a peristalsis stimulant and a laxative, we performed PEG to deflate the gastrointestinal tract. An abdominal x-ray taken after the PEG placement showed the elimination of the gas and a remarkable improvement in the gastric dilatation, and the abdominal symptoms soon disappeared. These cases highlight the clinical importance and usefulness of PEG for gastric decompression in patients with aerophagia associated with repeated intestinal obstruction.

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