Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) was performed on 28 elderly patients (mean age 82 years) who were dysphagic and intolerant of naso-gastric feeding. Twenty-six patients were recovering from a stroke; the interval between the onset of stroke and PEG averaged 63 days. The procedure was successful and well tolerated by all patients. Nineteen (68%) still had a functioning PEG a median of 14 weeks after placement. One patient whose swallowing recovered had the tube removed 6 months after its insertion. Seven patients (25%) subsequently died from their underlying disease, a mean of 92 days following PEG. There was one procedure-related death from peritonitis. PEG is a useful alternative to surgical gastrostomy in selected elderly patients with dysphagia who are intolerant of naso-gastric feeding.
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