Radiologically inserted gastrostomy (RIG)

Last revised by Craig Hacking on 24 Apr 2024

A Radiologically inserted gastrostomy (RIG), or percutaneous radiological gastrostomy (RPG), is a procedure where a gastrostomy tube is inserted percutaneously into the stomach under fluoroscopic guidance, principally to provide nutritional support for patients with swallowing disorders 1. Gastrostomy tubes otherwise can be inserted endoscopically, known as a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG).

Absolute contraindications

Some generally accepted absolute contraindications are 2:

  • severe coagulopathy

  • dangerous percutaneous access to the stomach (e.g. interposed colon)

Relative contraindications
Procedure details

Prior to the procedure, review prior imaging studies to choose the best percutaneous approach. The patient should be fasted for 8 hours 2.

  1. place a nasogastric tube

  2. administer conscious sedation

  3. insufflate air via the nasogastric tube to distend the stomach. Enough air should be used to distend the stomach and oppose the gastric wall to the anterior abdominal wall (~250-500 mL).

  4. choose a puncture site in the body of the stomach, equidistant from the lesser and greater curvatures

  5. infiltrate local anesthesia with about 10 mL of 1% lidocaine along the percutaneous tract

  6. make a small skin incision with a #11 scalpel

  7. use a gastropexy device (e.g. a 17G needle preloaded with a Cope suture anchor) to puncture the stomach. One should feel and see the anterior stomach wall tenting upon pressure, then a give a sharp jab to enter the gastric lumen

  8. confirm correct location by aspirating air into the syringe

  9. advance a stylet in the gastropexy device, to discharge the anchor in the stomach

  10. the stylet and gastropexy needle are then removed and the stomach is approximated to the anterior abdominal wall by gentle traction on the anchor

  11. make another gastric puncture which will be used for the gastrostomy tube. For a simple gastrostomy, one should aim vertically down or slightly towards the fundus. However, if conversion to a gastrojejunostomy is anticipated, the needle should be directed towards the pylorus

  12. confirm intraluminal localization with a small amount of contrast medium, which will outline gastric folds

  13. insert a 0.038-inch J-tipped stiff guidewire and loop it in the stomach before withdrawing the needle

  14. introduce serial fascial dilators over the guidewire to dilate the muscular layers of the stomach, while taking care to keep tension on the anchor and to keep the guidewire inside the stomach lumen

  15. insert the selected gastrostomy tube over the wire using a peel-away sheath

  16. inflate the gastrostomy balloon with the required amount of sterile water (e.g. 5-10 mL)

  17. confirm proper position of the tube, then apply gentle tension on the gastric wall by pulling the tube while applying the retention disc on the skin, which will fix the anterior gastric wall to the anterior abdominal wall

  18. fix the retention disc on the skin with a non-absorbable suture

Some interventional radiologists perform RIG without gastropexy, using a single puncture. 


Potential complications include 2,3:

See also

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