Feeding tubes are recommended when the person’s dietary requirements cannot be fulfilled by a regular diet.There are different types of feeding tubes for different purposes. Find out more about the types and their uses in this HealthHearty article.
When a person’s nutritional needs are not met by a regular diet, a doctor suggests feeding tubes. The types that are available, are matched with the person’s gastrointestinal evaluation and capacity of the body and then they are administered his body.
A nutrition consultant and a physician decides if a person needs administration of long term or temporary feeding tubes. The types will be evaluated in case of chronic dehydration, suffocation and aspiration pneumonia.
NG tubes or nasogastric feeding tubes are considered in cases where feeding orally is not possible. These tubes can be lodged into the stomach, through esophagus into pharynx or through nostrils. The tube can vary between 35″ to 45″. The tube is tightened with the tape. Polyurethane and silicon tubes are the most commonly used tubes among NG tubes. Insertion of NG tube can be done by only a licensed nurse or physician.
J-tube or jejunostomy is inserted in the jejunum, which is upper part of small intestine. The tube is inserted near the core of abdomen. The purpose of the J-tube is to directly feed the intestine.
PEG tube or per cutaneous endoscopic gastronomy tube is administered into the stomach, in abdominal wall, through skin. G tubes are considered in cases of long term feeding and are implanted more towards the left below rib cage. Malecot, PEG, MIC, mushroom and silicon foley catheters are the types of G tubes. Gastric juices due to the leakage is one of the potential complications of G tube. This causes skin irritation. Other possible risk is that of diarrhea.
In pump feeding, the feeding tubes are connected with a pump for feeding the nutritional formula at a particular rate. The person can be nourished continuously for the whole day. The feeding has to be stopped every 3 – 4 hours to clean the tubes with water, o avoid clogging.
Gravity Drip Method
In gravity drip method, the nourishment formula is discharged into the feeding bag that remains hanging on a pole. The feeding tube is taped to the body. The feeding tube and the tube with the bag are connected together. On disengaging the feeding tube, the formula starts flowing into the body, due to the gravity pull. After feeding is completed, the tube is flushed with water. You can adjust the flow rate of feeding through a clamp. You can feed a person multiple times a day. You should change the bag every day to prevent bacterial growth.
In this method, a syringe attached to a feeding tube delivers the formula into the body, due to gravity. This is comparatively easy way of feeding. Luer tip syringe to blow up the feeding tube and catheter tip syringe to feed the formula is all you need for syringe feeding.
In some cases, feeding tubes complications such as vomiting and nausea can occur if there is slow emptying of stomach post every feed. Sometimes, the formula contains excess proteins and carbohydrates, which can also lead to nausea. Other reason for vomiting sensation can be bacterial infection.
This was about the types and associated pros and cons of the feeding tubes. A feeding tube is generally prescribed by a doctor but it is always good to have some information regarding the same.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.