PEG tube feeding (also called percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy) is done when a person can't swallow food safely or there is a blockage in the esophagus or stomach. The tube can also be used if a person can't take enough food by mouth. The feeding tube lets food bypass the mouth and esophagus and go directly into the stomach or small intestine.
The Path of Food
When you take food by mouth, you chew your food into small pieces and swallow. The food moves down the esophagus into the stomach. From there, it goes into the small intestine and then into the large intestine. Solid waste (stool) is stored in the rectum and passed out through the anus.
When a PEG Feeding Tube Is Needed
A doctor puts the feeding tube into the body, most often through the mouth and down the esophagus. The tube is pulled through to the outside of the body through a small hole in the wall of the stomach or the small intestine.
Digestion Works the Same
Digestion works the same with a feeding tube as it does when food is taken by mouth. So the person gets the same nutrition by tube feeding as he or she would get by mouth.