Gastrostomy Tube Placement

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Overview

A gastrostomy tube (G-tube) is a feeding tube inserted through the skin and directly into the stomach as a treatment for patients who have swallowing disorders or difficulty taking food by the mouth.

The G-tube is put in place with the aid of an endoscope, a thin flexible tube equipped with a tiny, lighted camera. The gastroenterologist feeds the endoscope through the patient’s mouth, into the esophagus (the food passage), and then through to the stomach.

Once the endoscope reaches the stomach, the patient’s skin is cleaned and numbed over the abdomen. After the patient is numb, the doctor will make a small incision, through which the G-tube is placed into the stomach. The endoscope serves as the “eye” inside the stomach to ensure placement is correct, and to guide the doctor in stitching up and closing the stomach around the tube.

Preparation:

The patient will be sedated during the procedure and will therefore need a ride home. Fasting is required for at least eight hours, or starting at midnight the night before the procedure. The patient should bring a complete list of current medications.

Conditions treated by this procedure:

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