Which G-Tube to Use in Pullers: Assessment of Pull Pressures on Skin Models to Determine Optimal Catheter Choice in Patients with Recurrent Pulled Gastrostomy Tubes
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INTRODUCTION: Pulled or dislodged gastrostomy catheters represent a common complication associated with percutaneous gastrostomy and are a common cause of recurrent visits in patients with altered mental status. We intended to perform an experiment to compare the pull forces required to dislodge different commonly used gastrostomy catheters. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We used a digital force gauge device to measure the pull forces required to dislodge three types of 20 French gastrostomy catheters in double-layer skin models. These included the Flow 20 Pull Method (Cook Medical, Bloomington, IN, USA), Entuit Gastrostomy BR Balloon Retention feeding tube (Cook Medical, Bloomington, IN, USA), and Ponsky Non-Balloon Replacement Gastrostomy Tube (CR Bard Inc, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA). The catheters were inserted into the skin model using the same technique as would be utilized in a patient. RESULTS: The mean forces measured to dislodge the per-oral Flow 20 Pull Method, Entuit Thrive Balloon Retention, and button-type retention Ponsky replacement catheters were 35.6, 22.8, and 20.6 Newtons, respectively. The pull method per-oral gastrostomy catheter required significantly more pull force to dislodge than both the Ponsky button-type retention catheter and the Entuit balloon retention catheters. There was no significant difference in the pull force required to dislodge the Ponsky replacement catheter and the Entuit balloon retention catheter. CONCLUSIONS: Per-oral image-guided gastrostomy with pull-method button-type retention catheters may be the ideal choice in patients at high risk of tube dislodgment.
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