Current feeding tube attachments are designed to sit between the inside of the stomach wall and the surface of the skin. To insert a device into this stoma length, there are currently two different methods. The first method uses an inflated balloon and additional tubing to span the distance of the stoma length. The other method uses a supply of varying tubes that can be inserted after measuring the appropriate size for patients. Dr. Weiss would like to combine the aspects of each, while eliminating extra material that are hindrances to both patients and physicians. Merging the components of these two products would also eliminate excess supplies. Our goal is to create a solution that would be priced competitively to the current feeding tubes. The original tubes, which are usually replaced 1-2 years, will eventually be phased out of production in favor of a solution that could cut hospital inventory in half.
With more than 100 thousand procedures of PEG tube replacements within a year and half a million people who have feeding tubes, patients and physicians would benefit from a new device to reduce the time and costs of feeding tube replacements. Over extended time, the stoma length enlarges, causing the need for a replacement. Another problem faced by physicians are the rapid growth of their pediatric patients. This growth requires their feeding tube to be constantly adjusted and changed. Both issues can be addressed with an adjustable stoma, reducing the number of times patients would have to visit the hospital for a tube replacement. Minimizing patient visits will also increase physician and hospital efficiency.