Oesophageal Patients Association

Referred question about Peg Line

I have been asked this question in a different forum but don't feel qualified to answer it.

Hoping some on here may help.

"Hello I am the wife and caregiver of a Esophageal cancer patient who is on a peg line,(12-15 hours a day). He is having some problems with clogging and having the line blown out of the tube.

I was wondering if this has happened to anyone else? I can attest to the fact that this is not good in the middle of the night when sleeping and the line continues to pump.

Also we wanted to ask if it is okay for a person with a peg tube to eat by mouth while the peg tube is in use?

Any advise would be welcome.

thank you"

6 Replies

They are good when they are working, but troublesome when they don't!

I am not sure that there is a general answer to this, and this is only a speculative part answer, but it might depend on individual circumstances and the reason for the peg. If it is because food and/or drink cannot pass through the oesophagus, then that situation will probably not have changed, so trying to take sustenance by mouth may cause complications. If the patient tried it and the food simply did not go through and had to be hauled back up again, then that is not going to an attractive proposition.

If it is for surgical reasons to keep food away from part of the digestive tract that is trying to heal itself, then taking food by mouth would be very unwise, especially if there were a tear that might leak into the chest cavity.

So, frustrating though it is to deal with these lines at home, especially at night, I think the answer has to be to try to get the line fixed better, and to put the question to the doctor / nurse who has a better knowledge of the patient's own situation.

I have immense sympathy for the carers in this situation, but it is one for the nurse / medically trained people to resolve and the carer should not feel reluctant to ask for help when the kit has gone wrong.


Thanks Alan,

I knew I could rely on you for a response. I'll pass it on.




I'm horrified that you don't have a nurse or someone to phone . Definitely go back to doctor hospital .

Do you mean a J peg ? If to keep weight up and supplement feeding then yes ok to eat . But didn't anyone give advise ?

Really feel for you both ,hope you get help and support today .


Thank you for your help. I have relayed the information to the person in question.


We had trouble like this with one formula we used and had to change ; WE tried other things but that was our final solution . You can try to dilute it with water so not so sticky but the you are feeding longer ! I think we also increased rate to 85 ml per hour it ; it helped but still happened . We also always cleared the tube with 60 ml before and after the feed ; I thnk the problem was that he had a smaller tube than some surgeons used and it clogged easily . We are in Canada and the food we switched to that worked was Resource2 . Do note know what formulas you have there but a dietician walked us through all these attempts to solve the problem .

Rob always got cramping if he ate while tube feeding but often drank warm water or herbal tea .



I have many years of tube feeding for my son, as he is unable to swallow he has a permanent tube called a "Mickey Button". We used to have problems with the peg blocking you can use soda water or coke to unblock it. If your husband has a dietician ask them for advice as well as I find them helpful with any problems we have.

Good luck.



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