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Doctors and providers who treat this condition

  

Discharge Instructions: Caring for Your Gastrostomy Tube (G-Tube)

You have been discharged with a gastrostomy tube, or G-tube. The G-tube was inserted through your belly (abdominal) wall and into your stomach. The tube will provide you with food, fluids, and medicine. Your G-tube may move in and out slightly. If the tube comes out all the way in the first few weeks after placement, don’t put it back in. Call your healthcare provider right away. Don’t wait until the next day. This is important because the G-tube tract through the skin may close very quickly, often within 24 hours. After the first few weeks, if the tube comes out, ask your provider how to get a spare tube. Ask your provider how to replace it at home. 

General guidelines for use

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before starting your feeding.

  • During the feeding and for 1 hour after, sit in a chair or sit up in bed.

  • Before feeding begins, check to see that your stomach is empty. You will need a syringe for the following steps: 

    • Insert the tip of an empty syringe into the end of the G-tube.

    • Pull back on the syringe to withdraw contents of the stomach.

    • Don’t begin the feeding if more than 100 mL remains from the previous feeding.

  • Clean the area around the tube with mild soap and water.

  • Pat the area dry during bathing and as needed.

  • Clean the area more often if it gets wet or is leaking some discharge (weeping).

  • Keep the disk (flange) a few millimeters off the skin. This should leave just enough room for a gauze sponge. Pulling the flange too tightly can damage the skin. But leaving the flange too loose leads to leaking around the G-tube. Your healthcare team will go over these guidelines before you leave the hospital.

 

The name of my feeding supplement/formula is:

___________________________________________

 

Amount per feeding: 

___________________________________________

 

Times per day:

___________________________________________

 

Amount of water used to flush tube:

___________________________________________

Gravity feeding method

  • Fill the feeding bag with the prescribed amount of formula. Run the fluid to the end of the tube to clear out any air. Clamp the tube.

  • Connect the end of the feeding bag tubing to the G-tube.

  • Hang the bag at least 18 inches above the level of your G-tube.

  • Open the clamp and allow the formula to flow into the G-tube.

  • Follow with the prescribed amount of water.

  • After each feeding, rinse the bag and tubing. Every 24 hours, wash the bag and tubing with soapy water and rinse thoroughly.

Pump feeding method

  • Fill the feeding bag with the prescribed amount of formula. Run the fluid to the end of the tube to clear out any air. Clamp the tube.

  • Connect the end of the feeding bag tubing to the G-tube. Set the pump rate of flow to the prescribed rate per hour.

  • Open the clamp on the tubing; press the start button on your pump.

  • When feeding is complete, disconnect the feeding set.

  • Connect the tip of an empty syringe to the feeding tube and slowly push in the prescribed amount of water.

  • After each feeding, rinse the bag and tubing. Every 24 hours, wash the bag and tubing with soapy water and rinse thoroughly.

Syringe feeding method

  • Remove the plunger from a syringe and connect the syringe to the G-tube.

  • Hold the syringe upright and pour the formula into the syringe.

  • Refill the syringe as the formula reaches the bottom of the syringe.

  • Repeat the process until the prescribed amount of formula is given.

  • Follow the feeding with the prescribed amount of water.

  • After each feeding, rinse the bag and tubing. Every 24 hours, wash the bag and tubing with soapy water and rinse thoroughly.

When to call your provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following:

  • The tube comes out 

  • The tube is blocked

  • Vomiting

  • Fever above 100.4°F (38.0°C)

  • Diarrhea that lasts more than 2 days

  • Signs of infection (redness, swelling, or warmth at the tube site)

  • Drainage from the tube site

 

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