The implantation of metastasis of oropharyngeal or esophageal cancer to percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) stomata is considered an uncommon complication, but it is being recognized with increasing frequency. The incidence of this complication is not known. Multiple theories of metastatic spread have been proposed. We describe a case following retrograde endoscopy via a PEG stoma site. A National Library of Medicine literature search was performed, and case reports and bibliographies were reviewed. We estimate the incidence of this complication as 1% minimum. Direct seeding of the site is the only reasonable hypothesis to explain this phenomenon. Health care providers need to be educated about this problem. Although there is no direct evidence that metastases are spread by direct contact, we believe that transgression of the active primary tumor during gastrostomy tube placement should be avoided. Laparoscopic gastrostomy tube placement provides a safe, effective, and minimally invasive method of enteral access, which avoids transgression of the primary tumor site, and may prevent stomal metastases in patients with active aerodigestive tract malignancies who require gastrostomy.
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