One hundred thirty-six percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomies (PEGs) were placed in 126 patients with head and neck malignancies. PEG was performed by the "push" technique described by Russell. There were 140 PEG attempts, with 136 successful placements (97%). Seven complications occurred related to tube placement (5% of placements). Complications encountered were prolonged ileus in one patient (1%), local skin wound infection in one patient (1%), and early tube dislodgment in five patients (4%). Three patients required laparotomy (2%). There were no episodes of aspiration and no deaths. Patients were followed up for an average of 11 months, with a mean duration of PEG tube placement of 6 1 2 months. Patients continued PEG feedings throughout the postoperative radiotherapy period and until oral intake was satisfactory. Acceptance of PEG feedings has been high. No patient required rehospitalization for nutritional support.
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