What is a feeding tube?

    A feeding tube is a device that’s inserted into your stomach through your abdomen. It’s used to supply nutrition when you have trouble eating. Feeding tube insertion is also called percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG), esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD), and G-tube insertion.

    This treatment is reserved for when you have trouble eating on your own, due to reasons such as the following:

    • You have an abnormality of your mouth or esophagus, which is the tube that connects your throat to your stomach.
    • You have difficulty swallowing or keeping food down.
    • You aren’t getting enough nutrition or fluids by mouth.

    Conditions that can cause you to have trouble eating include:

    • stroke
    • burns
    • cerebral palsy
    • motor neuron disease
    • dementia

    The treatment can also be done if you need it to receive certain medications.

    This procedure is performed in a hospital or clinic.

    Before you begin, tell your doctor about any medications you’re taking, including blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin), aspirin (Bufferin), or clopidogrel (Plavix). You’ll need to stop taking blood thinners or anti-inflammatory medications one week or so before the procedure.

    Your doctor will also need to know if you’re pregnant or have certain conditions, such as:

    • diabetes
    • allergies
    • heart conditions
    • lung conditions

    If you have diabetes, your oral medications or insulin may have to be adjusted the day of the procedure.

    Your doctor performs a gastrostomy using an endoscope , which is a flexible tube with a camera attached. You may be given anesthesia to make you more comfortable. This may make you drowsy following the procedure. Before the procedure, arrange to have someone drive you home.

    This procedure requires you to fast. Typically, doctors ask that you abstain from eating eight hours before the procedure. Most people can return home the same day as the procedure or the following day.

    Before the procedure, you need to remove any jewelry or dentures. You’re then given an anesthetic and something to relieve pain.

    While you’re lying on your back, your doctor places the endoscope in your mouth and down your esophagus. The camera helps the doctor visualize your stomach lining to ensure that the feeding tube is positioned properly.

    When your doctor can see your stomach, they make a small incision in your abdomen. Next, they insert the feeding tube through the opening. They then secure the tube and place a sterile dressing around the site. There may be a little drainage of bodily fluids, such as blood or pus, from the wound.

    The whole procedure usually lasts less than an hour.

    The feeding tube can be temporary or permanent, depending on the primary reason for the feeding tube.

    Plan on resting after the procedure. Your abdomen should heal in about five to seven days.

    After the tube is inserted, you may meet with a dietitian who will show you how to use the tube for feeding. Your dietitian will also educate you on how to care for the tube.

    Drainage around the tube is normal for a day or two, and a nurse will probably change your dressing on a regular basis. Feeling pain for a few days around the place where the incision was made is normal. Make sure to keep the area dry and clean to avoid skin irritation or infection.

    There are some risks associated with the procedure, but they aren’t common. Risks include trouble breathing and nausea from the medication. Excessive bleeding and infection are risks whenever you have surgery, even with a minor procedure such as a feeding tube insertion.

    Before you leave the hospital or clinic, make sure you know how to care for your feeding tube and when you need to contact a doctor. You should call your doctor if:

    • the tube comes out
    • you have trouble with the formula or if the tube becomes blocked
    • you notice bleeding around the tube insertion site
    • you have drainage around the site after several days
    • you have signs and symptoms of an infection, including redness, swelling, or a fever
    How long does it take for a feeding tube to heal?
    If your child has a stitch around the tube, healing takes place in about 21 days. A tract will form between the stomach and skin in about three months. Your doctor may talk to you about changing the tube at this time. It is important to know what type and size tube your child has. more
    How long does brain heal after stroke?
    After six months, improvements are possible but will be much slower. Most stroke patients reach a relatively steady state at this point. For some, this means a full recovery. Others will have ongoing impairments, also called chronic stroke disease. more
    How long should gums heal before dentures?
    Extraction and Healing The swelling of your gums when an impression is made may result in discomfort and an improperly fitted denture. Every individual is different but you can expect that it will take about 6-8 weeks before your gums will have healed sufficiently so that the impressions can be made. more
    How long after smoking lungs heal?
    Your lung function improves within two weeks to three months after the last cigarette. During the first year after quitting, coughing and shortness of breath decrease, and your lungs become better at cleaning themselves to reduce the risk of infection. more
    How long does liver take to heal?
    The liver, however, is able to replace damaged tissue with new cells. If up to 50 to 60 percent of the liver cells may be killed within three to four days in an extreme case like a Tylenol overdose, the liver will repair completely after 30 days if no complications arise. more
    How long does it take to heal from a chest tube?
    It will take about 3 to 4 weeks for your incision to heal completely. It may leave a small scar that will fade with time. This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. more
    How long is too long for a wound to heal?
    A wound is considered chronic if it has not healed significantly in four weeks or completely in eight weeks. If you're suffering from a wound or sore that isn't showing any signs of healing, talk to your doctor. If left untreated, chronic wounds can cause dangerous complications. more
    How long should you feed hummingbirds?
    Keep feeding them as long as they keep coming to your feeder. Adult male hummingbirds usually leave in summer, months before the females and young. Keep your hummingbird feeders up until there are no more hummingbirds. Take your hummingbird feeders down for the winter two weeks after you see the last hummingbird. more
    How long do lungs take to heal?
    “There's the initial injury to the lungs, followed by scarring. Over time, the tissue heals, but it can take three months to a year or more for a person's lung function to return to pre-COVID-19 levels. “Lung healing in of itself can produce symptoms,” Galiatsatos says. more
    How long does PID take to heal?
    To fully treat PID, you may need to take one or more antibiotics. Taking antibiotic medicine will help clear the infection in about 2 weeks. more
    How long after vaping do lungs heal?
    After two weeks: your circulation and lung function begin to improve. After one to nine months: clear and deeper breathing gradually returns; you have less coughing and shortness of breath; you regain the ability to cough productively instead of hacking, which cleans your lungs and reduce your risk of infection. more

    Source: www.healthline.com

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