PEG questions.

uncle (77) who had major mouth surgery some years ago resulting in increasing problems with swallowing has been advised to have PEG inserted in stomach.

Once in place does it need checking periodically by nurses - is it a case of pouring the liquid into the pipe - are complications rare - is it possible to eat a little food normally - do people normally put weight on when it’s in place?


I’m trying to think of my time working in a special school. As far as I remember you don’t pour the liquid in. It’s connected and an advised flow rate is input and the liquid gradually flows in. Think of being on a drip and how slowly that flows in. The children I was dealing with didn’t eat any solids but I don’t know if some do. I would think the “food” would be of the right type that he wouldn’t put on weight. We certainly had kids that needed to put on weight that were prescribed different food to the ones that didn’t need extra.

My knowlege is old but I hope that helps a bit!

thanks - it doesn’t sound too problematic - he’s having increasing problems with eating and at 5’ 10’’ and a weight of just over 7 stone something has to be done quite quickly.

Hi Cracowian

With a PEG tube there are 2 feeding methods. Either attaching the PEG tube with a plastic tube called a giving set to a pump and then pump feeding. A bag of feed is hung up maybe a litre then it could run at 125mls/hr for 8 hours or 2 litres 125mls over 16 hours.

The second method is called bolus feeding. Where an open syringe is attached to the PEG and feed is poured in - say 300mls of feed then 100mls of water.

A dietitian should work put your uncles nutritional requirements and advise on the type of feed and

The feed is prescribed by GP. A pump if necessary is usually a free resource from the company that make the feed.

Some people can continue to eat and drink with a PEG tube. A speech and language therapist (SALT) should check what consistence food and fluids your uncle can manage.

In terms of looking after the PEG a nurse should visit and the dietitian should probably visit as well. It is all relatively easy and some people manage the PEG themselves or relatives sometimes help as well

Yes weight gain is possible. Sounds as though a dietitian and SALT should already be involved .

Hope this helps

Min xx

thanks for replies - useful information.