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Unique PEG Procedure Saves Life of Muscular Dystrophy Patient

dr zeev

The life of a patient suffering from muscular dystrophy was saved recently thanks to a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG), a procedure performed in Israel exclusively at Laniado Hospital.  This minimally invasive procedure enables a feeding tube to be radiologically inserted directly into the stomach through the abdominal wall under local anesthesia and under X-ray guidance.  It is used when people – generally elderly individuals or those suffering from muscular dystrophy – are unable to swallow through the esophagus.   
The patient, who lives in the center of the country, has had muscular dystrophy for a number of years.  The disease advanced rapidly in recent months, making it virtually impossible for him to swallow, threatening death by starvation.  Several medical centers in close proximity to his home that perform endoscopies to alleviate situations like this were unable to do so, due to the position of his stomach.  He was also rejected for surgery because his medical condition didn’t allow him to undergo anesthesia.  The patient, who refused to have a feeding tube inserted into his stomach due to the suffering entailed, subsequently underwent a drastic, life-threatening weight loss since the he was unable to swallow any food or liquid.  
Further investigation led to Laniado Hospital. The patient was given a quick appointment and after undergoing treatment, immediately began to gain weight.  

Dr. Zeev Feuchtwanger, director of the Diagnostic Imaging Department at Laniado, who performs the procedure, explains that the procedure enables insertion of the catheter into the precise location in the stomach without damaging nearby organs. In a complex case like the one under discussion, a CT device was also used to further refine the placement of the catheter.  
Dr. Vered Hermush, director of the Geriatric Department at Laniado, conducted a retrospective study comparing the results of the percutaneous PEG procedure to the other methods used in situations where the is unable to swallow.  She found that potential for complications is significantly less than with parallel treatment methods.

"This treatment is literally saving lives,” said Dr. Feuchtwanger. “Many patients who come to me would die without receiving it.  My experience has shown that this method has a very high success rate. I invite anyone suffering from similar problems in general and those that cannot be treated through other methods in particular to come to Laniado Hospital to receive this life-saving treatment.