Clin Surg | Volume 7, Issue 1 | Research Article | Open Access

Delayed Gastrostomy Tube Insertion in Children: Identifying the Knowledge Gap among Pediatricians

Alomair S#, Alshehri A*#, Alzaby A, Altokhais T and Alfraih Y

Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
#These authors contributed equally to this work

*Correspondance to: Abdullah Alshehri 

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Background: Transitioning pediatric patients from short term Nasogastric Feeding Tube (NGT) to Gastrostomy Tube (GT) is not often guided by evidence. We have noticed significant delays in our patients before referral for GT insertion. We aimed to explore the practice of pediatricians toward GT in several hospitals and identify knowledge gaps that could explain such delay. Methods: A 14-item questionnaire was designed and distributed to pediatricians from five hospitals. The survey aimed to assess their knowledge of GT insertion along with its complications, care, referral patterns, and reasons for delayed referrals. Results: 106 participants completed the survey. 32 (30.2%) consultants, 10 (9.4%) specialists, and 64 (60.4%) trainees. When asked about referring a patient who is a candidate for GT, 69 (65.1%) of participants chose to refer to surgery. 94 (88.7%) thought GT improves patients’ quality of life, 103 (97.2%) believed GT helps patients to receive their caloric requirement. 18 (17%) felt they could comfortably explain the procedure to the parents, and 66 (62.3%) were aware of the common procedural complications. 75 (70.8%) stated parental resistance as the main reason of delaying referral. 49 (46.2%) were able to provide GT care and 85 (80.2%) would benefit from educational sessions about GTs. Conclusion: Our study is the first to identify gaps in knowledge and approach of participating pediatricians about GTs. This might explain the delay of transitioning patients from NGT to GT. We think addressing those gaps will likely improve parental interest and consequently patients’ access to GTs.


Alomair S, Alshehri A, Alzaby A, Altokhais T, Alfraih Y. Delayed Gastrostomy Tube Insertion in Children: Identifying the Knowledge Gap among Pediatricians. Clin Surg. 2022; 7: 3607.

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