CONTEXT

Despite frequency of gastrostomy placement procedures in children, there remains considerable variability in preoperative work-up and procedural technique of gastrostomy placement and a paucity of literature regarding patient-centric outcomes.

OBJECTIVES

This review summarizes existing literature and provides consensus-driven guidelines for patients throughout the enteral access decision-making process.

DATA SOURCES

PubMed, Google Scholar, Medline, and Scopus.

STUDY SELECTION

Included studies were identified through a combination of the search terms “gastrostomy,” “g-tube,” and “tube feeding” in children.

DATA EXTRACTION

Relevant data, level of evidence, and risk of bias were extracted from included articles to guide formulation of consensus summaries of the evidence. Meta-analysis was conducted when data afforded a quantitative analysis.

EVIDENCE REVIEW

Four themes were explored: preoperative nasogastric feeding tube trials, decision-making surrounding enteral access, the role of preoperative imaging, and gastrostomy insertion techniques. Guidelines were generated after evidence review with multidisciplinary stakeholder involvement adhering to GRADE methodology.

RESULTS

Nearly 900 publications were reviewed, with 58 influencing final recommendations. In total, 17 recommendations are provided, including: (1) tTrial of home nasogastric feeding is safe and should be strongly considered before gastrostomy placement, especially for patients who are likely to learn to eat by mouth; (2) rRoutine contrast studies are not indicated before gastrostomy placement; and (3) lLaparoscopic placement is associated with the best safety profile.

LIMITATIONS

Recommendations were generated almost exclusively from observational studies and expert opinion, with few studies describing direct comparisons between GT placement and prolonged nasogastric feeding tube trial.

CONCLUSIONS

Additional patient- and family-centric evidence is needed to understand critical aspects of decision-making surrounding surgically placed enteral access devices for children.

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