Cecostomy tubes provide a minimally invasive alternative for patients with colonic obstruction or chronic constipation who do not respond well to conventional treatments. This article will discuss the indications for cecostomy tube placement, how an interventional radiologist performs image-guided cecostomy tube placement, the benefits of this minimally invasive procedure, and the long-term outcomes.

Indications for Cecostomy Tube Placement

Cecostomy tube placement may be recommended for patients experiencing the following conditions:

  1. Colonic obstruction: Blockage of the large intestine due to tumors, inflammation, or scarring.
  2. Chronic constipation: Intractable constipation that does not respond to conventional treatments such as medications or dietary modifications.
  3. Neurogenic bowel dysfunction: Abnormal bowel function resulting from neurological disorders such as spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, or spina bifida.

Image-Guided Cecostomy Tube Placement Procedure

An interventional radiologist, a specialist in minimally invasive image-guided procedures, performs cecostomy tube placement using computed tomography (CT) or ultrasound guidance:

  1. The patient is positioned on their back, and the skin is cleaned and sterilized at the insertion site.
  2. Local anesthesia is administered to numb the area and minimize discomfort during the procedure.
  3. Using CT or ultrasound guidance, the interventional radiologist inserts a thin needle through the skin and into the cecum (the first part of the large intestine).
  4. A guidewire is then inserted through the needle, and the needle is removed.
  5. A dilator is passed over the guidewire to create an opening in the cecum, and the cecostomy tube is then inserted over the guidewire.
  6. The guidewire is removed, and the cecostomy tube is secured in place with a suture or adhesive.

Benefits of Cecostomy Tube Placement

Cecostomy tube placement offers several advantages over traditional surgical treatments, including:

  1. Minimally invasive: The procedure requires only a small incision and has a lower risk of complications compared to surgery.
  2. Rapid recovery: Patients typically experience a quicker recovery period and can often return to normal activities within a few days.
  3. Symptom relief: Cecostomy tubes can provide relief from colonic obstruction or chronic constipation, improving patients’ quality of life.
  4. Adjustable treatment: The cecostomy tube allows for the administration of medications or the removal of fecal material directly from the cecum, enabling tailored treatment based on the patient’s needs.

Long-Term Outcomes

Cecostomy tubes can provide long-term relief for patients with colonic obstruction or chronic constipation. However, it is essential to monitor and maintain the tube regularly to prevent complications such as infection, dislodgement, or blockage. Regular follow-up with an interventional radiologist or gastroenterologist is recommended to ensure the cecostomy tube continues to function effectively.

In some cases, cecostomy tubes may be a temporary solution, and patients may be able to transition to alternative treatments or have the tube removed once their condition improves. In other cases, the tube may be a long-term solution, providing ongoing relief from symptoms.


Cecostomy tube placement presents a minimally invasive alternative for individuals suffering from colonic obstruction or chronic constipation when traditional treatments prove ineffective. By employing image-guided techniques, interventional radiologists can accurately place the tube, offering patients a chance for improved quality of life and symptom relief. As with any medical procedure, it is crucial to follow proper maintenance and care guidelines to avoid complications and ensure optimal function. Cecostomy tubes can be an effective long-term or temporary solution, depending on each patient’s unique circumstances and health status.