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Percutaneous gastrostomy (PEG) tube placement in patients with continuous flow left ventricular assist device. (LVAD). CHRIS RIZZI, BS, Linda Bogar, MD, Jay Jenoff, MD, Nicholas Cavarocchi, MD, Hitoshi Hirose, MD. Department of Surgery, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA. Introduction: Inadequate nutritional support after LVAD placement is known to increase postoperative infections and to decrease survival. The LVAD patients with complicated postoperative recovery requiring prolonged mechanical ventilation may require long-term tube feedings. Placement of a PEG requires knowledge of the location of the LVAD pocket and driveline to avoid device infection and injury. Methods: Between August 2008 and December 2011, 39 patients underwent Heartmate II LVAD placement for end-stage heart failure as either bridge to transplant or destination therapy in our institution. Among them, 5 patients underwent PEG tube placement for long-term nutritional support in the operating room or intensive care unit. Procedure management consisted of cessation of anticoagulation and correction of abnormal coagulation before the procedure; a cardiothoracic surgeon or intensivist in the operating room to communicate with the surgeon who performed PEG; and VAD coordinator or perfusionist in the operating room to assist in monitoring the VAD. Data were retrospectively analyzed to investigate complications related to the PEG placement. Results: The studied patients consisted of 3 males and 2 females with mean age of 58 +/- 5.0. The interval of LVAD to PEG placement was a mean 21 +/- 8.8 days. PEG was successfully performed in the operating room in all patients. There were no LVAD device or driveline injuries related to the PEG procedure. There were no postoperative short-term or long-term PEG related complications such as acute gastric bleeding or dislodgement of the PEG tube. Concussions: PEG placement for Heartmate II LVAD patients can be done without increasing the risk of device or intraabdominal organ injury with carefully coordinated efforts from both the mechanical support team and surgical services.

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