Gastrojejunostomy

What is a gastrojejunostomy?

Gastrojejunostomy is a minimally invasive procedure in which a long tube (gastrojejunostomy) is inserted through the stomach into the small intestine. This tube allows for food to travel directly into the small intestine. Often, a percutaneous radiologic gastronomy (PRG) precedes the placement of this tube. The gastrojejunostomy is placed using the same opening. A gastrojejunostomy offers nutritional support to patients who are unable to eat and who cannot absorb nutrients through the stomach, such as patients facing nausea or vomiting, or patients who choke when food travels back up from the stomach.

What to expect?

If you are eligible for a gastrojejunostomy, you will be referred to an interventional radiologist for its placement. Often, a PRG precedes the placement of a gastrojejunostomy.

Please inform your practicing physician if you use medication that prevents blood coagulation. If possible, you will have to stop using this medication before the procedure.

You may need a brief stay at the hospital before your procedure (day treatment). Please do not eat 6 hours before the procedure.

The procedure will take place at the radiology department. You will be lying down on your back with an x-ray tube. This table is designed for use with image-guided procedures.

To switch from a PRG to a gastrojejunostomy you may need a local anesthetic. Your interventional radiologist will insert a catheter together with a guidewire into the jejunum, the middle section of your small intestine. Once everything is in place, the gastrojejunostomy will be put in over the wire. We use a contrast agent to verify the position of the tube.

Many patients are able to go home on the same day of the procedure. You may experience mild discomfort around the opening of the tube. The tube can be used directly after placement.

What are the potential risks and complications?

Complications during the switch from PRG to gastrojejunostomy are rare. Some people may experience peritonitis, gastrointestinal perforation (ruptured bowel), or skin infection surrounding the area where the tube was inserted, and bruising.