We performed a retrospective chart review of 55 patients who had been treated for head and neck cancer to evaluate the complication rate associated with percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG)f or nutritional support. We found that complications occurred in only 6 patients (10.9%); 3 of these patients (5.5%) had granulation around the site of the PEG tube, and 1 each experienced a tube malfunction, migration of the PEG tube, and leakage around the tube. No wound infection or other complication associated with PEG tubes was noted. Of the 6 complications, 3 occurred in 31 patients who underwent PEG tube placement at the time of tumor resection, and 3 occurred among 16 patients who received a PEG tube postoperatively. We conclude that placement of a PEG tube is a safe method of providing nonoral nutritional support for patients with head and neck cancer.
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