A systematic review and meta-analysis of gastrostomy insertion techniques in children

  • Laura Baker
    McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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  • Alana L. Beres
    Pediatric General and Thoracic Surgery, The Montreal Children's Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

    McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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  • Robert Baird
    Corresponding author at: The Montreal Children's Hospital, McGill University Health Centre 2300 Tupper St., Montreal (Quebec), Canada H3H 1P3. Tel.: +1 514 412 4400.
    Pediatric General and Thoracic Surgery, The Montreal Children's Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

    McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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      Gastrostomy tubes are inserted via multiple techniques to provide a route for enteral feeding in the pediatric population. This review compares the rate of major complications and resource utilization associated with the various insertion techniques.


      Major electronic databases were queried for comparative studies of two or more insertion techniques, including open, laparoscopic, percutaneous endoscopic, or fluoroscopic guided. Major complications were defined as reoperation within 1 year or death. Screening of eligible studies, data extraction, and assessment of methodological quality were conducted independently by two reviewers. Forest and funnel plots were generated for outcomes using Revman 5.1, with p < 0.05 considered significant.


      Twenty-two studies with a total of 5438 patients met inclusion criteria. No differences in major complications were noted in studies comparing open versus laparoscopic approaches or open versus PEG. Studies comparing laparoscopic gastrostomy and PEG revealed a significantly increased risk in major complications with PEG (n = 10 studies, OR 0.29, 95% CI: 0.17–0.51, p < 0.0001). The number needed to treat to reduce one major complication by abandoning PEG is 45.


      PEG is associated with an increased risk of major complications when compared to the laparoscopic approach. Advantages in operative time appear outweighed by the increased safety profile of laparoscopic gastrostomy insertion.

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