A prospective evaluation of the Button gastrostomy in children.
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The Button gastrostomy has become popular for patients requiring long-term enteral feeding, because it is considered less irritating, more stable and more esthetically acceptable than the traditional tube gastrostomy. By a standardized questionnaire and personal interview, the authors evaluated prospectively the efficacy and complication rate in 19 children who had a Button gastrostomy inserted during a 6-month period. In 15 children the Button replaced a standard tube gastrostomy, and in 4 the Button was inserted surgically initially. Thirteen children had severe neurologic disabilities, and 6 required supplemental enteral feeding as part of the nutritional management of another chronic disease. In all 19 children, the Button was esthetically more acceptable and produced less skin irritation than the standard tube gastrostomy. All but one caregiver thought that the Button gastrostomy was preferable to a tube gastrostomy. This was especially apparent in the six neurologically normal children who were able to be more active and had an improved self-image. Cost analysis showed that, despite the higher initial cost of the Button, elimination of the need for frequent tube changes and hospital visits made it ultimately more cost effective than the standard tube gastrostomy. The authors conclude that the Button gastrostomy is a useful alternative to the standard tube gastrostomy in selected patients. Close long-term follow-up is extremely important to ensure a good result.
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