OBJECTIVE: Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) is the most commonly used procedure in patients requiring long-term tube feeding. Lack of universal terminology and variations in the description of long-term PEG cutaneous lesions make it difficult for clinicians to interpret, communicate, and formulate a plan of treatment. The authors designed a prospective study to assess the long-term PEG cutaneous lesions and the healthcare utilization.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: After the PEG procedure, patients followed up for more than 12 months were included. Results of physical examination of the PEG cutaneous lesions were recorded. Laboratory tests, including the standard urine strip test, which detected the presence of bilirubin, microbiologic culture, as well as computed tomography, were applied in patients with PEG long-term cutaneous complications. Unscheduled hospital visits also were recorded.
RESULTS: The mean follow-up duration after PEG was 28 ± 15 months. Among patients with long-term PEG, 33.6% of the patients had normal skin, 31.0% had skin erythema, 21.2% had wound discharge, 24.8% had granulation tissue, 15.0% had postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, 15.9% had scarring, 5.3% had side torsion, 29.2% had stoma retraction, and 5.3% had bulging lesions. Urine strip test can differentiate gastric content leakage from purulent exudate/serous fluid. All patients with bulging lesions required hospitalization.
CONCLUSION: Long-term PEG cutaneous problems are common. Appropriate physical examinations and laboratory tests can provide evidence to identify the causes, treat the patients with the PEG cutaneous problems, and decrease the risk for potential unscheduled hospital visits.