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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2015, Article ID 612610, 7 pages
Research Article

Feasibility and Safety of Overtubes for PEG-Tube Placement in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer

Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, Sydney, NSW 2145, Australia

Received 9 March 2015; Accepted 24 March 2015

Academic Editor: Rami Eliakim

Copyright © 2015 Crispin O. Musumba et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) placement using the “pull” technique is commonly utilized for providing nutritional support in head and neck cancer (HNC) patients, but it may be complicated by peristomal metastasis in up to 3% of patients. Overtube-assisted PEG placement might reduce this risk. However, this technique has not been systemically studied for this purpose to date. Methods. Retrospective analysis of consecutive patients with HNC who underwent overtube-assisted PEG placement at Westmead Hospital, Australia, between June 2011 and December 2013. Data were extracted from patients’ endoscopy reports and case notes. We present our technique for PEG insertion and discuss the feasibility and safety of this method. Results. In all 53 patients studied, the PEG tubes were successfully placed using 25 cm long flexible overtubes, in 89% prophylactically (before commencing curative chemoradiotherapy), and in 11% reactively (for treatment of tumor related dysphagia or weight loss). During a median follow-up period of 16 months, 3 (5.7%) patients developed peristomal infection and 3 others developed self-limiting peristomal pain. There were no cases of overtube-related adverse events or overt cutaneous metastases observed. Conclusions. Overtube-assisted PEG placement in patients with HNC is a feasible, simple, and safe technique and might be effective for preventing cutaneous metastasis.