BackTable / VI / Podcast / Episode #252
How I Place Gastrostomy Tubes
with Dr. Christopher Beck
In this episode, Dr. Aaron Fritts interviews Dr. Christopher Beck about gastrostomy tubes, including the evolution of his method, tips for patients who pull their tubes out, and why g-tubes are such a controversial topic in IR.
BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2022, October 17). Ep. 252 – How I Place Gastrostomy Tubes [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.backtable.com
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Dr. Christopher Beck
Dr. Chris Beck is a practicing interventional radiologist with Regional Radiology Group in New Orleans.
Dr. Aaron Fritts
Dr. Aaron Fritts is a Co-Founder of BackTable and a practicing interventional radiologist in Dallas, Texas.
We begin by discussing indications and contraindications for gastrostomy tubes. Frequent indications are stroke patients, head and neck cancer patients, and trauma patients. Contraindications include uncorrectable coagulopathy, ascites, peritoneal carcinomatosis, or something interposed between the abdominal wall and the stomach, such as liver or bowel. Dr. Beck prefers having imaging to review, which most patients have. If no prior imaging is available, he will get a non-contrast CT abdomen the day of the procedure. He likes all his patients to drink barium for visualization of bowel during the procedure, but will not cancel the procedure if they didn’t drink it, as the insufflation should move bowel out of the way and there should be enough bowel gas to identify and avoid the bowel.
Next, Dr. Beck reviews the details of his method. He likes to use monitored anesthesia care (MAC), because frequently he has patients with bad Mallampati scores. Additionally, anesthesia is very helpful with NG placement. Furthermore, it makes the procedure much more comfortable for the patient. He always checks liver margins with ultrasound prior to starting the procedure. He always gives 1 mg glucagon before insufflation and antibiotics per the SIR Guidelines App. As for equipment, he uses t-fasteners from Avanos, a dilator set, and a 20Fr G-tube. He used to start with 16Fr but found he frequently had to size up to a 20Fr. He uses a 24Fr peel away sheath. For the procedure, he insufflates, marks his entry point with a hemostat, and then numbs in all 3 spots where he will place his gastropexies. He uses 1/2 syringe of contrast for his gastropexy placement. He uses 2 t-tags, and prefers the C-arm in RAO rather than AP during this step. For G-tube placement, he aims 20 degrees toward the pylorus, and always makes sure he sees wire touching two walls of the stomach to ensure he is intraluminal. He uses sterile water to inflate the balloon rather than saline or contrast. Lastly, he always makes sure to get a good final image to confirm placement in the stomach.
For post-care, on inpatients he rounds the next morning, checking that the tube flushes and then clears it for use. For outpatients, he recommends no feeding (via G or NG) for three hours and a consult with a dietician before discharge. After this, the patient can receive nutrition via NG. If the patient has no peritoneal signs, the G-tube can be used the next day. For tube management, he exchanges the tube every 6 months or sooner if there is an issue, such as the tube being pulled out or becoming clogged beyond the point of a bedside fix.
BackTable YouTube Gastrostomy Tube Demo:
Early Initiation of Enteral Feeding:
SIR Guidelines App:
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