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About enteral and vascular access

There are many children who are unable to eat normally through their mouth and require another route to get nutrition.  Such children can include those with congenital facial malformations, swallowing issues, developmental delay and many others. Enteral access is a way of feeding a child's gastrointestinal tract if they are unable to eat on their own.

Vascular access is used for children who require intravenous (IV) therapy for a prolonged period of time or for specialized therapy.  It allows continuous and easy access to the bloodstream so that children do not have to get multiple needle sticks and repeated IVs—a permanent vascular access device is placed and used instead. This is most often used to treat children with cancer, as well as children with infectious and gastrointestinal diseases.

Our approach to treatment

The surgeons at Cohen Children’s perform enteral access often and are highly skilled and experienced in the multiple ways that this can be accomplished. The most common procedure for enteral access is called a feeding gastrostomy. There are several ways of performing a gastrostomy, including laparoscopy and percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG).  These are minimally invasive techniques used to decrease pain and scarring and speed recovery.

Our surgeons also routinely perform vascular access. Vascular access devices are skillfully placed in a sterile operating room environment with the aid of technological equipment in order to achieve the best and safest possible procedure. Cohen Children’s has dedicated board-certified pediatric anesthesiologists to maximize comfort and safety.

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