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Gastrostomy is a surgical procedure to insert a tube (called a “g-tube”) through the abdomen and into the stomach. It is performed to temporarily or permanently give nutritional support directly to the stomach for patients who are not able to take nutrition by mouth. The procedure can also be done for gastric decompression.
Gastrostomy can be performed under general or local anesthetic, ensure to discuss with your surgeon the best option for your case. There are three different methods for carrying out this procedure: laparoscopic, open surgery, and percutaneous (through the skin) endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG). The most common one is the PEG procedure, in which your surgeon inserts an endoscope through the mouth and into the stomach to help them position the G-tube.
You will have to stay in the hospital for one to two days, but you may want to stay in Deiyai for 7 days. During your stay, your G-tube will be monitored and the nurses may teach you how to use and care for the tube.
Most people can recover quickly after a gastrostomy. However, the exact recovery period can be different from one person to another. Make sure you ask your doctor how long it will take to recover. The tube will not keep you from work and most activities.
It is very important to understand how to insert food through the tube, how to prevent infection, how to handle a blockage in the tube, and what you should do if the tube pulls out. You will be given a feeding plan from a dietitian and your surgeon will tell you what activities or exercises you need to avoid. You may need to schedule follow-up appointments with your local doctor.
A gastrostomy has an approximately 98% success rate. However, there is a very small possibility that you will experience side effects and risks of the procedure, including bleeding, infection, damage to other parts of your body.
The alternatives to gastrostomy are nasogastric (NG) feeding tubes and a jejunal tube. Nasogastric feeding tubes are usually short-term; it involves passing a tube through your nose into the stomach. A jejunal tube is placed in the small bowel.
Before having a gastrostomy tube, you may not be able to swallow or eat enough food, which prevents your body from getting all of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that it requires. After the procedure, your body will receive all the necessary nutrients and you can get back to most of your normal activities.
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