A Study of Postoperative Complications Occurring at Home With Pediatric Gastrostomy Feeding Tubes

Mihika Aedla, Anson Zhou, Kevin Sompel, Katherine Hu, Charlotte Cheng, Jocelyn Hsu, Jason Qian, Siya Zhang, Anthony Ho, Jacob Slagle, Elizabeth A. Logsdon, Karun V. Sharma, Clifford R. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Gastrostomy tubes (G-tubes) provide long-term feeding assistance to children with severe feeding dysfunction. Although there are a host of complications that occur at home with current pediatric G-tube feeding, their prevalences and outcomes remain relatively unstudied. This study aims to identify and describe such complications. METHODS: A dual-round survey was administered to 98 participants through the Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that supports parents and caretakers of G-tube-fed children. Information was collected broadly regarding G-tube complications, causes, and attitudes toward such complications. RESULTS: Infection (56%), itching/irritation/redness (52%), and leakage (51%) were the leading G-tube related complications. The average time that G-tubes were replaced was 3.4 ± 1.2 months as compared to the typical recommended period of up to 6 months. Of the caretakers who had not experienced G-tube displacement, 7.9% wanted to see a change in current G-tubes to address the issue, compared with 75% of those who had experienced displacement. This 67.1% differential in caretakers' attitudes toward G-tubes based on their prior experience with a particular complication was the largest gap among all other listed complications. CONCLUSIONS: G-tube complications are prevalent and varied. A sizable portion of G-tube users experience complications severe enough to require intervention. Of these, G-tube displacement is particularly critical and frequently precedes other prevalent complications, namely gastric leakage, infection, and tissue granulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-35
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Gastroenterology


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