Gastrostomy to obviate the use of a Levin tube was first carried out by one of us (J. M. B.) in December, 1953, on a 55-year-old man who was to undergo a subtotal gastrectomy for an intractable duodenal ulcer and had refused to have a nasogastric tube inserted. Our experience with this case was so gratifying that we have continued its use through the years, especially in the elderly or apprehensive patient, when decompression of the stomach is indicated.
The complications associated with the use of nasogastric tubes are well known. These include rhinitis, nasal ulceration, hemorrhage from the nose or throat, pharyngitis, sinusitis, stricture of the esophagus following ulceration, knotting of the tube in the stomach, and rupture of the stomach by the inadvertent connecting of the tube to oxygen.
The advantages of gastrostomy have been pointed out by various authors. As early as 1939 Horsley1 advocated gastrostomy