How do feeding tubes work? What to expect, insertion, and care tips

Feeding tubes supply nutrition, hydration, and medicine right to a person’s abdomen or intestines. A health care professional will insert it through the nose, mouth, or stomach.

A person may possibly not be ready to try to eat or consume for a variety of motives. They may perhaps use a feeding tube for days, weeks, or months, primarily based on the sort of tube they receive.

Individuals with extensive-phrase feeding tubes can handle them at home with distinct treatment guidance. They ought to also be conscious of the possible difficulties or aspect consequences that might call for medical interest.

This post discusses the makes use of and varieties of feeding tubes, what to expect throughout insertion, prospective pitfalls and facet outcomes, and property administration.

Feeding tubes are little, adaptable tubes that can deliver nourishment, hydration, and drugs to anyone who cannot eat or drink. A healthcare skilled will insert just one by a person’s nose, mouth, or stomach.

Feeding tubes function making use of a pump program, gravity, or a syringe. Persons can generally run their feeding tubes on their own.

Feeding tubes aid men and women who can not retain ample nourishment and hydration or ingest medications independently. They assist folks receive the energy, vitamins and minerals, fluids, and prescription drugs they have to have to get or stay healthier.

Some predicaments the place a feeding tube might be essential incorporate:

  • benign or malignant problems — cancer
  • situations induced by health-related cure
  • motility issues of the esophagus
  • neurologic leads to resulting in swallowing issues
  • psychosomatic problems this kind of as dementia
  • mental incapacity or developmental delay
  • ingesting diseases

There are two most important kinds of feeding tubes: brief-time period and long-expression. Professional medical and personal factors determine which type of product a qualified healthcare qualified recommends.

A human being will use a short-phrase feeding tube for a couple times or weeks. They enter through the nose or mouth and finish in the abdomen or smaller intestine.

People today can use extensive-time period feeding tubes for weeks or months. These enter through the stomach and go into the abdomen, little intestine, or the two. They include things like:

  • gastrostomy tube (G tube)
  • jejunostomy tube (J tube)
  • gastrojejunal tube (GJ tube)

The insertion procedure will rely on the type of tube anyone is receiving. A health-related professional can use manual or surgical tactics, X-ray, or endoscopy — a slim tube with a camera.

If a human being needs a short-time period feeding tube, a competent health care expert will insert it bedside. Then, they will use an X-ray to confirm that the tube is in the correct area.

A variety of techniques exist for extended-term feeding tube insertion.

A person popular system requires endoscopy. A medical professional will sedate the personal and insert an endoscope by way of the mouth and into the stomach to discover and illuminate the insertion site. Then, they will make a compact incision and guideline the tube into position.

A feeding tube can bring about gastrointestinal problems, such as:

Although the insertion course of action is usually low threat for most people, other potential problems may contain:

  • tenderness or soreness at the insertion web-site
  • bleeding
  • an infection
  • injuries to the esophagus, liver, or other organs
  • peritonitis — irritation of the stomach cavity’s lining

A person must clear the opening, or stoma, day by day. They need to carefully clean it with unscented cleaning soap, steer clear of scrubbing, and dry the region when concluded.

People must also flush the feeding tube with h2o all through the day and immediately after feedings to prevent clogs.

According to Stanford Drugs Children’s Health, an individual need to analyze the stoma when day-to-day. While discoloration and slight drainage are normal, they need to make contact with their medical doctor if they working experience any of the next:

  • a rash
  • amplified discoloration or inflammation around the stoma
  • open pores and skin all around the stoma
  • bleeding from the stoma internet site
  • increasing, unpleasant, or bleeding tissue close to the stoma
  • increased leakage at the stoma
  • vomiting of method when on “J” feeds

If the tube falls out, a man or woman ought to right away go to the emergency room ahead of the opening can near. A doctor may perhaps instruct them to go over the gap with a clean fabric or use a tube to maintain the gap open when likely to the hospital.

Those with feeding tubes really should often follow their health care professional’s precise care and crisis recommendations.

Feeding tubes are tiny tubes that provide foodstuff, hydration, and treatment straight to the stomach or intestines. They aid those who can’t sufficiently take in or consume on their have.

Some troubles may manifest with a feeding tube insertion. Side effects include things like gastrointestinal concerns this kind of as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation.

It is significant for persons to usually observe a doctor’s care guidance. Stoma internet sites demand day by day cleaning and assessment — a individual need to get hold of their health care skilled if they observe any concerns.