Treatment of Persistently Leaking Post PEG Tube Gastrocutaneous Fistula in Elderly Patients with Combined Electrochemical Cautery and Endoscopic Clip Placement

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Abstract

Objectives:

Persistent leakage from a gastrocutaneous fistula (GCF) created for the purpose of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube placement is a common problem in elderly patients. Conservative methods often prove unsuccessful and surgical closure is usually not performed because of poor surgical risk. With advances in endoscopic technology, several nonsurgical approaches have emerged. These new methods have been reported in the past as case reports. The purpose of this study is to report a case series of eleven elderly patients with persistent leakage from gastrocutaneous fistulas who underwent combined electrochemical cautery and endoscopic clip placement.

Methods:

Eleven patients had failed conservative therapy and were deemed unsuitable candidates for surgical closure. Electric and chemical cauterization was used to de-epithelialize the fistulous tract. The edges of the internal orifice of the gastrocutaneous fistula were approximated using endoclips during an esophagogastroduodenoscopy. Patients were observed postprocedure for leakage.

Results:

This procedure resulted in complete closure of the gastrocutaneous fistula in nine patients (82%). One patient had partial closure of the fistula which was sealed using a new PEG tube.

Conclusion:

Gastrocutaneous fistula is a common complication in elderly patients after removal of gastrostomy tubes. Simple endoscopic procedures have shown promising results in the treatment of this complication.

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