Percutaneous Feeding Tube Placement (Gastrostomy, Gastrojejunostomy, Jejunostomy)


A Percutaneous Feeding Tube Placement procedure is one whereby a feeding tube is inserted through the skin and the stomach wall, directly into the stomach or small intestine.


Before the procedure, a small tube will be inserted through your nose and down your throat into your stomach. Air will be passed through this tube to inflate the stomach. A percutaneous feeding tube placement procedure involves the placement of a fine needle through your skin and into your stomach or small intestine. Some numbing medicine will be injected in the skin before the needle is inserted. Intravenous medications may also be given to you to make you more comfortable and relaxed. This is known as conscious sedation.

Following insertion, the needle will be guided to the correct location by an x-ray camera or ultrasound machine. The position of the needle will then be confirmed by the injection of x-ray contrast material (x-ray dye). A feeding tube will then be placed into the stomach or small intestine. The tube will be used for feeding the following day.


Risks associated with the procedure include pain or discomfort at the needle insertion site, bleeding at the site, internal bleeding, injury to a blood vessel, organ puncture, and infection which may result in an infection of the blood stream.

Because a needle is being placed into your stomach or small intestine system, there is the risk of developing a leak that may cause peritonitis (an infection of the lining of the abdomen). The development of any infection, including peritonitis, may result in the need for intravenous antibiotics. Risks associated with the x-ray contrast material include an allergic reaction. The medications used for the conscious sedation are associated with the risks of aspiration (inhaling food or liquid into your lungs) or respiratory depression. In addition to these potential risks associated with the procedure, the x-ray contrast material, and the conscious sedation medications, there may be other unpredictable risks including death.


There may be other procedures that can be performed to provide feeding tubes such as endoscopic gastrostomy and surgical gastrostomy. If you are unsure about having a percutaneous feeding tube placement, please discuss these other alternatives with your physician.