Thursday, May 31, 2012

Decisions Made: G-Tube

It will probably come as little surprise that we've chosen to move past the NG Tube.  We've struggled with it, and although it's ultimately been fairly successful, life is very difficult with it.  Since this road isn't likely to be a short one, we've decided to move forward with the placement of a G-Tube.

As usual, I turn to Feeding Tube Awareness for a better understanding of what we're getting ourselves into.

G (Gastric) Tube: A G-tube is surgically placed directly into the stomach. Some hospitals will place a PEG tube initially to form the stoma (2-3 months) and then transition over to a button g-tube. 

  1. More comfortable than an NG, because there is no tape on the face
  2. More discreet than an NG - if a Child isn't feeding, no one would know he's a tubie!
  3. Longer-Lasting than an NG - buttons can last up to 3 months, whereas NG tubes must be changed monthly.
  1. Requires a surgical procedure to place the G Tube.
  2. G Tubes need to be "vented" - a video is worth a thousand words... 
  3. G Tubes can clog (just like NG Tubes)
  4. Granulation Tissue can form around the Stoma

Our Procedure:
 Aidan's surgery is taking place at CHOP downtown today, May 31st.  Aidan will be put under general anesthesia, and the Interventional Radiology team will use ultrasounds and x-rays to find the exact right spot for his new tube.  It will be on the upper left side of his belly.  Aidan will receive antibiotics during and after the procedure, and pain medication as needed. 

The new tube will extend out about 5-6" and is about as thick as a drinking straw.  He will use this tube for the next 3 months or so, before being allowed to switch to a low-profile button (like the AMD Mini-One or the Mic-Key).

Aidan will be in the hospital for at least one night - potentially more, depending on how he does - but he's a tough kid and we expect him to do fantastic!  We are excited to see what the future holds, and hopeful that this will make everyone's life a bit easier in the long run.  Wish us luck!


  1. Good luck to you guys! I know none of these decisions are easy but it sounds like this is the way to go. I look forward to seeing Aiden make a speedy recovery and an easy transition. <3

    1. oh dear, it's been a long road. Stay tuned.

  2. What a tough little guy you have. I am sure he'll do great! How long will he have to have the G-tube? Is this a permanent installment?

    1. It could be permanent - but really, it's just for as long as we need to supplement his nutrition. Right now, with no foods, it looks like it'll be at least a few years.

  3. For what it's worth, I think you've absolutely made the right choice for him.