What Is a Feeding Tube?
A feeding tube is a device that’s inserted into the patient’s stomach through his abdomen. It’s used to supply nutrition when the patient is having trouble eating. It’s also called percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG), esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), and G-tube insertion.
This treatment is reserved for when the patient is having trouble eating on his own. This can be because:
- The patient has a deformity of his mouth or esophagus, which is the tube that connects your throat to the stomach
- The patient has difficulty swallowing.
- The patient is not getting enough nutrition or fluids.
The treatment can also be done if you need it to receive certain medications.
Do the patient need to prepare for Feeding Gastrostomy?
The patient will need to stop taking blood thinners or anti-inflammatory medications one week before the procedure. The doctor will also need to know if they have certain conditions such as:
If the patient has diabetes, his oral medications or insulin may have to be adjusted on the day of the procedure.
The doctor will perform a gastrostomy procedure using an endoscope, which is a flexible tube with a camera attached. The patient may be given anesthesia to make him more comfortable.
This may make the patient drowsy following the procedure. Arrange before the procedure to have someone available to drive the patient home.
This procedure requires the patient to fast. Typically, doctors ask that the patient to abstain from eating eight hours before the procedure. Most people can return home the same day as the procedure or the following day.
How Is the Endoscope Inserted?
During the procedure, the patient will be asked to remove any jewelry. He will then be given an anesthetic and something to relieve the pain. The patient will lie on his back.
The doctor will place the endoscope in his mouth and down his esophagus. The camera will help the doctor visualize the patient’s stomach lining to ensure that the feeding tube is positioned properly.
When the doctor is able to see the patient’s stomach, they’ll make a small cut in his abdomen. Then, they’ll insert the feeding tube through the opening.
They will secure the tube and place a sterile dressing around the area. There may be a little drainage of bodily fluids, such as blood or pus, from the wound. The full procedure generally lasts for less than an hour.
The feeding tube can be temporary or permanent, depending on the primary reason for the feeding tube.
After Feeding Gastrostomy
The medicine may make the patient drowsy. The patient’s abdomen should heal in about five to seven days. After the tube is inserted, the patient may meet with a dietician who will show him how to use the tube for feeding. The dietician will also educate the patient on how to care for the tube.
Drainage around the tube is normal for a day or two, and a nurse will probably change the patient’s dressing on a regular basis. Feeling pain for a few days around the place where the incision was made is normal.
There are some risks associated with the procedure, but they aren’t common. Risks include trouble in breathing and nausea from the medication. More bleeding and infection are risks whenever the patient has surgery, even with a minor procedure such as a feeding tube insertion.