General G-tube Q&A
What is a gastrostomy tube (also known as G-tube)?
- Gastrostomy tube is a tube that gives a direct passage into the stomach. It inserts inside the stomach to allow us to give your child nutrition and medications. It also allows for "venting" or burping the stomach, if needed.
What kind of G-tube will your child have?
- At VCU Health, we are now placing MiniONE G-tubes (supplied by Applied Medical Technology) in patients who need a G-tube. It has three main parts: 1. the feeding port, 2. The balloon valve and 3. the balloon. You will use the feeding port to connect it to the feeding set to use it for medications and feeds. The balloon valve is used to inflate the balloon to anchor the G-tube inside the stomach. You can use a small amount of water to inflate the balloon. Usually, 4 to 5 mL of water is sufficient.
Why does your child need a G-tube?
- G-tube is often used for children who have trouble with ingesting medications, water or food by mouth.
Will your child have a G-tube specific to him/her?
- Yes, your surgeon will decide the size of the tube specific to your child. There are varying sizes of G-tubes mainly designated by ___ French x ____ cm. The French size refers to the size of the lumen of the G-tube while the centimeter refers to the length of the G-tube. Please review this picture to visualize what part of the G-tube these sizes refer to. Please make sure to write down the sizes and keep it in a safe location in case you do need a replacement.
Can your child eat/drink by mouth when G-tube is in place if they were doing so beforehand?
- Yes, your child can eat/drink by mouth with the G-tube in place. G-tube will not interfere with this and instead can be used as an adjunct to boost nutrition.
Is G tube permanent?
- No. G-tube can be taken out if your child does not need it any longer. Often, the tract will close on its own but sometimes you may need surgery to close it. But please do not take out the G-tube before discussing this option with your surgeon.
What's included in the G-tube kit?
What else will I need to use the G-tube?
- A pump (Infinity or Joey) and a bag for the pump
- AMT 12" and 14" Y-port extension
- Syringe 10cc and 60cc
- KY Jelly
- Medipore tape
- Drain sponges 2x2
- Mesalt dressings
- Aquacel dressings
- Mepliex lite
- Adhesive remover
- Farrell bags
- Blue silicon tape
- Some of these you will use everyday and some you will use only on certain occasions. Please refer to the G-tube care page for further instructions.