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Health Information For Parents
Some kids have medical problems that make it hard for them to get enough nutrition by mouth. A gastrostomy tube (also called a G-tube) is a tube inserted through the belly that brings nutrition directly to the stomach. It’s one of the ways doctors can make sure kids who have trouble eating get the fluid and calories they need.
A surgeon puts in a G-tube during a short procedure called a gastrostomy. The G-tube can stay in place for as long as a child needs it.
Kids who have had a gastrostomy (ga-STROSS-teh-mee) can get back to their normal activities fairly quickly after they have healed.
Kids need G-tubes for different kinds of health problems, including:
Doctors often order several tests before a child can get a G-tube. The most common test is an X-ray of the upper gastrointestinal (GI) system. This lets the doctor see the upper part of the digestive system.
Sometimes the surgeon asks the family to meet with specialists, such as a gastroenterologist, dietitian, or social worker. This is to prepare a care plan so everything will be set up when the child goes home with the G-tube.
To get ready for the procedure, you will need to carefully follow instructions about when your child must stop eating and drinking. When you get to the hospital, the doctor will describe what will happen and answer any questions. The anesthesiology team will ask about your child’s
and when your child last ate and drank.
Before the procedure begins, the care team sets up monitors to keep track of your child’s vital signs (like blood pressure and oxygen level) and puts in an intravenous line (IV) to give medicines and anesthesia.
Your child will go to the operating room, and you’ll go to a waiting area. A hospital staff member will tell you when the procedure is over.
There are three ways doctors can insert a G-tube. Sometimes a combination of methods is used.
Putting in a G-tube takes only about 30 to 45 minutes.
Kids usually stay in the hospital for 1 or 2 days. Most hospitals let a parent stay with their child. While in the hospital, your child will get pain medicine as needed.
The nurses will teach you how to:
By the time your child is ready to go home, you should have:
All surgeries come with some risks. The surgical team will discuss them with you before the procedure and do everything possible to minimize them. If you have any concerns, be sure to bring them up before the procedure.
Complications of surgery can include:
Granulation tissue or leaking can usually be fixed by caring for the wound as instructed or changing the feeding schedule. Sometimes surgery is needed to fix a problem at the surgery site.
It’s normal to feel a little bit nervous about the G-tube at first, but it’s important that you feel comfortable taking care of it. Here are some tips:
Call your doctor if your child has any of these problems:
Most problems can be treated quickly when they’re found early.
When kids need intensive health care after they’re discharged from the hospital, it’s important that family and caregivers learn about the devices, equipment, and support they’ll need.
If your child needs to have an operation, you probably have plenty of questions, many of them about anesthesia.
Good preparation can help your child feel less anxious about getting surgery. Kids of all ages cope much better if they have an idea of what’s going to happen and why.
Surgeries and operations happen in the operating room, sometimes called the OR. Find out more in this article for kids.
It may seem scary to go to a hospital, but doctors and nurses are there to help people who are sick or hurt feel better. Read our article for kids to find out what happens inside a hospital.
Scheduled for a hospital stay? Knowing what to expect can make it a little easier.
Knowing what to expect with surgery before you get to the hospital can make you less anxious about your surgical experience – and less stress helps a person recover faster.
Premature infants, known as preemies, come into the world earlier than full-term infants. They have many special needs that make their care different from other babies.
Most kids grow well but some have âfailure to thrive.â This means they don’t gain weight as expected and may not grow as tall as they should.
Learn all about cerebral palsy (CP), one of the most common congenital disorders of childhood. Help your child or teen manage the condition, and find the help and services that kids with CP are entitled to.
Kids with cerebral palsy often have trouble eating. But with the right diet and feeding techniques, they can get the nutrients needed to thrive.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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