PEG Tube Placement
(Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy)
A PEG Tube Placement is a surgical procedure to place a flexible feeding tube, which allows you to receive nutrition, fluids, and medication through your stomach. The tube is placed through an incision into your abdomen while your doctor watches through an endoscope—a flexible tube with a camera and light—which is passed into your mouth, down your esophagus, and into your stomach. The PEG tube can remain in place for months or years.
At A Glance: PEG Tube Placement
Also Known As
Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy
Sedative, Local Anesthesia
Typical Recovery Time
Typical Price Range
Tell Me About The Surgery
Procedure Research and Consultation
How is a PEG tube placement done?
You will be sedated and anesthetized before the procedure. During a PEG tube placement, an endoscope—a flexible tube with a camera and light—is inserted through your mouth and into your stomach. This allows your doctor to watch the procedure on a monitor. A small surgical incision is made into your abdomen and a needle is pushed into your stomach. Then, the tube is pushed through the needle and into your stomach, too. The tube is sutured in place, and your wound is dressed.
What issue does a PEG tube placement solve?
A PEG tube placement is a good idea for anyone who can’t eat or drink enough to meet their nutritional needs. Stroke, birth defects, cancer of the mouth or esophagus, and problems with swallowing or aspirating after you’ve swallowed are all conditions that might be solved with a PEG tube.
What is minimally invasive surgery?
A procedure that involves a smaller incision and a less-invasive technique, shortening recovery time.
Do I have options for anesthesia?
A PEG tube placement can be done with sedation and local anesthesia, but you and your doctor will decide what’s best for you.
How do I know a PEG tube placement is right for me?
You might be a good candidate for a PEG tube placement if you have trouble swallowing or if you can’t eat or drink enough to meet your nutritional needs.
How safe is a PEG tube placement?
In general, severe complications from PEG tube placement are rare. You should also know that Hancock Regional Hospital has been rated one of the safest hospitals in America by The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit health care watchdog organization; and was named the safest hospital in Indiana on the Lown Institute Hospital Index.
What are the possible side effects and complications of a PEG tube placement?
While uncommon, possible side effects and complications of PEG tube placement include aspiration; infection; leaking of stomach contents around the tube; bleeding from the site of the incision; and dislodging of the tube.
What are the possible side effects of local anesthesia?
Some possible side effects of local anesthesia include nausea and vomiting, dizziness, headaches, blurred vision, twitching muscles, drop in blood pressure, continuing numbness, weakness, and tingling.
What are the alternatives to a PEG tube placement?
Alternatives to a PEG tube placement include using nasogastric intubation (NG intubation) when a thin plastic tube is inserted through your nostril, down your esophagus, and into your stomach. Once that tube is placed, food and medicine can be supplied through it.
What are the risks of not having a PEG tube placement?
A PEG tube placement allows you to receive food and medicine through a tube in your stomach. Without it, you may be unable to receive the appropriate food and medication or, if you try to eat and drink through your mouth, you may have trouble swallowing.
What kind of outcome is typical for a PEG tube placement?
A PEG tube placement allows you to receive nutrition, fluids, and medication through your stomach.
Consultation and Choosing A Surgeon or Surgical Team
Do I need a referral to see a surgeon?
You don’t need a referral to see a surgeon about a PEG tube placement.
What should I bring to my first appointment with a surgeon?
Insurance information Medical records, including your medical history, from your primary care physician A complete list of all medications you take on a regular basis, including any over-the-counter medication. Your most recent diagnostic labs and imaging (Not sure where to go? Check out Gateway Hancock Health, where you’ll be able to get in and out quickly and pay, on average, 70% less than you’ll pay at a hospital.)
Do I have to get a second or third opinion?
You can always get a second or third opinion, but it isn’t required.
How should I decide which surgeon’s advice to follow?
You should work with the surgeon with whom you feel comfortable, whether that’s one of our surgeons or not.
Will the surgical team know my health history?
Your health history will be compiled and available to the team before, during, and after surgery. If you’re a Hancock Health patient, we will be able to access your records within our system. If you aren’t, we will work with your doctors to get the necessary information.
Why might I have to wait to schedule a PEG tube placement?
In some cases, it takes time for a patient’s body to be ready for a PEG tube placement. For example, if you have another medical issue, including another surgical procedure or an illness, we might wait to perform your PEG tube placement. Your health and safety are our top priority, so we schedule surgeries when they’re best for our patients.
What happens if my symptoms get worse while I wait for my PEG tube placement?
Your surgical team will evaluate the situation and help you make a choice that’s right for you and your health. Temporary treatments might be used if your surgery is rescheduled.
Insurance & Cost
How much does a PEG tube placement cost?
Consult the price transparency tool at HancockRegionalHospital.org for an idea of how much PEG tube placement surgery might cost.
Will insurance cover my PEG tube placement?
In most cases, insurance will cover most of the costs associated with PEG tube placement. To obtain an estimate of your possible out-of-pocket expenses, use our Price Estimator Tool.
Will Medicare cover my PEG tube placement?
Medicare parts A and B will cover the cost of PEG tube placement, but it’s important for your doctor to indicate that the surgery is medically necessary.
What are payment options like for PEG tube placement at Hancock Health?
Hancock Health is committed to helping make great care affordable for all patients. To find out more about payment options for your PEG tube placement, please visit the billing and insurance FAQ page at HancockRegionalHospital.org.
Pre-op and Day of Surgery
How should I prepare for my PEG tube placement?
As a patient, you play an important role in preparing for your PEG tube placement. Your medical team may ask you to stop taking certain medications several days before your procedure. You’ll also be asked not to eat or drink at least eight hours before your PEG tube placement.
Why can’t I eat before surgery?
There’s a risk of aspiration, which means you’re breathing in foreign objects, like food or saliva, into your lungs. This can occur because the anesthetic for your PEG tube placement can impair your body’s ability to stop the contents of your stomach from entering your lungs.
What should I expect right before a PEG tube placement?
You’ll arrive several hours before your surgery and be escorted to the preoperative waiting area. You’ll remove all of your clothing and jewelry, and put on a hospital gown. (Your valuables will be placed in a secure area or may be given to a family member.) You’ll sign any necessary paperwork and a preoperative nurse will take your vital signs, review your medications, and answer any questions. You’ll meet your anesthesiologist and the members of your surgery team. They will mark the location of your surgery on your body. An IV (intravenous line) will be placed in your hand or arm, so medications—including general anesthesia—can be administered. If you’re using a different kind of anesthesia, you’ll receive an injection. When it’s time for your surgery, you will be wheeled into the operating suite on a stretcher.
Will I need someone to take me home after a PEG tube placement?
For your safety and the safety of other motorists, you will need someone to drive you home. If you don’t have a ride, we’ll help you arrange one.
Why are there so many people on my surgery team?
In addition to the surgeon, you have an anesthesiologist, nurses—some of them specialize in working with patients and others assist the surgeon—and support staff, who get you checked in and out, compile your records, and more. They all work together, performing their individual jobs, so the procedure is as successful as possible.
Why am I asked for my name and date of birth every time I get medicine?
It’s a safety precaution to make sure you’re receiving the medication that’s prescribed for you.
What do I need to bring to the hospital on the day of my PEG tube placement?
Anything you’ll need for an overnight stay, including a change of underwear, a sweatshirt, glasses or contacts, headphones, and your medications. You probably will not be there overnight, but it’s a good idea to be prepared.
How long does it take the anesthesia to wear off?
It takes a few minutes for your sedation to wear off and two or more hours for the local anesthesia to wear off.
What will happen during a PEG tube placement?
You will be sedated and anesthetized and the PEG tube will be placed in your stomach.
When will my family be informed about how I’m doing?
Our associates will get information from the surgical team in the operating room during your surgery and keep them updated.
How long will the PEG tube placement procedure take?
A PEG tube placement typically lasts around 20-30 minutes.
How long will I be under?
You will wake up soon after your PEG tube placement.
How long will I be in the hospital after a PEG tube placement?
While the length of a hospital stay depends on each patient’s individual needs, patients are typically discharged the same day following the procedure.
What can I expect right after my PEG tube placement?
After the procedure, you will be moved to a recovery room where you will stay until you’re ready for discharge. The amount of time you’ll be in recovery depends on how long it takes for the sedation and anesthesia to wear off and your individual needs. A day or two after your procedure, you might have some cramping from gas buildup in your digestive system but it should dissipate in a short time. There will be a bandage over the incision site and you may see some drainage for a short time, one or two days.
How will I know if the PEG tube placement worked?
Your surgeon will discuss your procedure with you.
When will I get to talk to my surgeon after surgery?
You’ll be able to talk to your surgeon immediately after your procedure, while you’re in the recovery room.
How soon after a PEG tube placement will I be up and moving around?
You will be up and moving around almost immediately after the procedure, but patients are encouraged to avoid driving for at least 24 hours after a PEG tube placement.
Will I receive pain medication right after surgery?
In most cases, patients receive pain medication immediately following surgery.
How soon after surgery can I eat or drink?
Your care team will instruct you on when to begin eating and drinking through the PEG tube, but they will probably recommend that you begin eating 12-24 hours following the procedure.
Will I need to fill any prescriptions or take medication after a PEG tube placement?
Your doctor may prescribe pain medication, an antibiotic, and other medications for your digestive system.
Recovery and Follow-Up
What will I need to do to prepare for my recovery from a PEG tube placement?
Make sure you have the medical supplies your care team recommends for when you arrive home from the procedure. If you live alone, you may want to arrange for a friend or family member to check in with you.
How should I prepare for my at-home recovery?
You may want to ask a friend or a relative to check on you and assist with everyday tasks for the first few days following your surgery.
If I need physical therapy or rehabilitation after a PEG tube placement, how is that arranged?
Physical therapy and rehabilitation are not typically needed after a PEG tube placement. Our associates will help you arrange the postoperative care you’ll need.
Will I need any follow-up appointments or procedures?
Your care team will schedule follow-up appointments with you.
Will there be any scarring or stitches to remove?
Your sutures will be removed by your doctor in about two weeks. You will also have a small scar on your abdomen.
What do I need to have to care for any wounds or incisions?
Your care team will give you specific instructions for caring for your incision site and the skin around your tube. In general, you will be asked to clean the area several times a day using mild soap and water or saline.
What should I do if I have an emergency or accident after a PEG tube placement?
If you have an emergency following your procedure, call your doctor’s office. If you’re in need of immediate emergency services, go to the nearest emergency room.
When will I be able to get back to work after my PEG tube placement?
You should consult your care team, but your skin should heal in 2-3 weeks.
Ask a Surgeon
Watch our surgeons answer common questions.
Affordable Labs and Imaging at Gateway Hancock Health
Need preoperative blood tests or an MRI? Check out Gateway Hancock Health, where labs and imaging prices are 70% lower than you’d pay at a hospital. An MRI that might cost as much as $1,600 is just $599 at Gateway.Learn More
Ready to Talk?
Whether you’re looking for an initial consultation, a second opinion, or you just have a few more questions, we’re here to help. Fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you within one business day.