Feeding Tube Placement
Sometimes it is necessary to provide a person with an alternative way to get nutrition into their body. Whether it is a nutritional supplement or a full diet, a feeding tube placed directly into the stomach can help a person to receive the nutrition they need. A feeding tube placement is a common procedure, one that can be done in the office of a Pottstown, PA, doctor.
Why Feeding Tubes are Used
There are several reasons why a person may need a feeding tube:
- Has difficulty swallowing
- Can not eat or drink enough to sustain their body
- Frequently chokes while they are eating
- Had mouth or throat surgery and can’t use them to eat during recovery
The feeding tube gets around these problems because it bypasses the mouth and throat and goes directly into the stomach.
Feeding Tube Procedure
The procedure can easily be done in the Bariatric Surgeon/Weightloss Surgery clinic with the person going home shortly after the feeding tube insertion. The doctor will numb the person’s mouth and throat, and may offer a mild sedative for comfort. A small tube with a camera on the end is then slowly inserted down into the person’s stomach through their mouth and throat.
A small incision is made in the abdomen through which the feeding tube is inserted into the stomach. The feeding tube may have a balloon at the tip which inflates to prevent the tube from being pulled out of the stomach. The doctor then stitches the incision closed around the feeding tube.
The incision in the abdomen will heal in a few days. Any discomfort can be treated by over-the-counter pain medication. There may be a slight discomfort in the mouth and throat for a few hours where the tube with the camera was passed down into the stomach.
Caring for the Feeding Tube at Home
Specialists, such as Dr. Sean Yuan, have years of experience with feeding tubes and will instruct the family on how to care for it so the person will have no complications. Some of these instructions will include:
- Using the tube properly to provide food and water to the person
- Caring for the skin around the feeding tube
- Spotting signs of infection
- Dealing with a feeding tube that is leaking
- How to handle a tube that has been pulled out
- How to use the tube to empty the stomach
Protecting the feeding tube during normal daily activities
If there are any questions regarding the use or care of the feeding tube, the clinic and staff are available to help. They understand the concerns that family members and caregivers have about feeding tubes, so the staff want to make this experience as easy as possible for everyone involved.