UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Gastrointestional

Title: PEG Tubes

Keywords: PEG Tubes (PubMed Search)

Posted: 10/3/2009 by Michael Bond, MD
Click here to contact Michael Bond, MD

I am sure everybody has received a patient from a nursing home that had a malfunctioning PEG tube.  Now if they would only crush the tablets before putting them down the tube, or better yet use liquid medications our life would be easier.

But what do you do if it is Friday and the GI lab is not open to Monday.  The answer is that you can remove the PEG and replace it with another PEG tube or even a foley catheter will do for the weekend.  The original PEG tube has a semi-rigid plastic ring (as shown in photo) and does not have a balloon that can be default.  You can pull these out by placing counter traction on the abdominal wall and pulling with steady firm pressure.  This may take a little more force than you are initially comfortable with.

Please see the attached photo of a PEG tube, and remember the other option is to admit these patients for IV fluids until the GI lab opens.


Photo taken from the Mount Littany Wellness library that can be accessed at