Comparing outcomes between “pull” versus “push” percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy in acute care surgery: under-reported pull percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy incidence of tube dislodgement

Narong Kulvatunyou, Steven A. Zimmerman, Moutamn Sadoun, Bellal A. Joseph, Randall S. Friese, Lynn M. Gries, Terence O'Keeffe, Andrew L. Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) complications are often under-reported in the literature, especially regarding the incidence of tube dislodgement (TD). TD can cause significant morbidity depending on its timing. We compared outcomes between “push” and “pull” PEGs. We hypothesized that push PEGs, because of its T-fasteners and balloon tip, would have a lower incidence of TD and complications compared with pull PEGs. Methods: We performed a chart review of our prospectively maintained acute care surgery database for patients who underwent PEG tube placement from July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2013. Data regarding age, gender, body mass index, indications (trauma versus nontrauma), and complications (including TD) were extracted. Procedure-related complications were classified as either major if patients required an operative intervention or minor if they did not. We compared outcomes between pull PEG and push PEG. Multiple regression analysis was performed to identify risk factors associated with major complications. Results: During the 4-y study period, 264 patients underwent pull PEGs and 59 underwent push PEGs. Age, gender, body mass index, and indications were similar between the two groups. The overall complications (major and minor) were similar (20% pull versus 22% push, P = 0.61). The incidence of TD was also similar (12% pull versus 9% push, P = 0.49). However, TD associated with major complications was higher in pull PEGs but was not statistically significant (6% pull versus 2% push, P = 0.21). Multiple regression analysis showed that dislodged pull PEG was associated with major complications (odds ratio 29.5; 95% confidence interval, 11.3-76.9; P < 0.001). Conclusions: The incidence of pull PEG TD associated with major complications is under-recognized. Specific measures should be undertaken to help prevent pull PEG TD. Level of evidence: IV, therapeutic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-62
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2018
Externally publishedYes



  • Complications
  • Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG)
  • Pull
  • Push
  • Tube dislodgement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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