Postoperative complications in children undergoing gastrostomy tube placement

Naiditch, J. A.; Lautz, T.; Barsness, K. A.

J Laparoendosc Adv Surg Tech A. 2010 Aug 14; 20(9):781-5

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Gastrostomy tube placement is associated with frequent postoperative complications. The aims of this study were to 1) determine the incidence of postoperative gastrostomy complications and 2) determine if patient demographics, comorbidities, or operative technique could predict these complications. METHODS: A retrospective review was conducted on children who underwent gastrostomy tube placement from June 2006 through August 2009. Patient demographics, comorbidities, operative technique, health care visits, and complications were collected. Data were analyzed by chi-squared analysis (P < 0.05 significant). RESULTS: One hundred and fifty-nine patients were evaluated, with the majority of patients <5 years of age (129/159). Ninety-four patients underwent open gastrostomy, 31 laparoscopic gastrostomy, and 34 laparoscopic-assisted gastrostomy. Granulation tissue was the most common postoperative complication, occurring in 58% of patients (93/159). The majority of patients with granulation tissue had full resolution by the fourth postoperative month. Tube dislodgement was the second most common complication, occurring 69 times in 44 of the patients (28%) and resulting in 59 emergency department (ED) visits. Overall, gastrostomy complications resulted in 100 ED and 462 clinic visits. Ninety-three percent (93/100) of ED visits resulted in discharge home from the ED. Gender, age, insurance status, and operative technique were not predictive of complications. CONCLUSIONS: Granulation tissue and tube dislodgement are the most common complications after gastrostomy placement in children. Gender, age, insurance status, and operative technique were not predictive of complications. Emergency department utilization is high in children with gastrostomy tubes.

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