DIGESTIVE DISEASE CENTER | Gastroenterology home | Surgery home

Patient care — surgical procedures

Feeding tube placement: This is often done through endoscopy (a long tube placed through the mouth into the stomach) by a gastroenterologist. Local anesthesia and intravenous sedation are used. It may also be done surgically. While the patient is deep asleep and pain-free (general anesthesia), a small incision is made on the left side of the abdomen. A small, flexible, hollow tube (catheter) with a balloon or flared tip is inserted into the stomach. The stomach is stitched closed around the tube and the incision is closed.

The patient and their family will be taught:

  • How to care for the skin around the tube
  • Signs and symptoms of infection
  • What to do if the tube is pulled out
  • Signs and symptoms of tube blockage
  • How to empty (decompress) the stomach through the tube
  • How and what to feed through the gastrostomy tube
  • How to conceal the tube under clothing
  • What normal activities can be continued

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