Troubleshooting and potential complications
What should I do when there's fluid leaking around the G-tube?
- First, check the characteristic of the drainage
- If tube feed or medication is leaking around the tube, please stop using the G-tube and call 804-828-3500.
- If white, yellow or green fluid that's thick and foul smelling drains around the tube, this may be normal drainage from the granulation tissue or a sign of infection. Please clean around the G-tube with soap and water. If the skin around the tube becomes red, tender or doesn't improve within few days, please call us at 804-828-3500.
- If the drainage is pink or slightly bloody but transparent, there's no need to be alarmed. Please clean around the area around 2 to 3 times a day with soap and see if it improves in few days. You may use a split gauze dressing under the tube, if necessary.
What should I do when the tube feed and medications are not flowing through the G-tube easily?
- There may be various reasons why the tube feed is not flowing as it should. It may be that the G-tube is out of place, the tube is clogged or the stomach may be full.
- Please fill a syringe with 10mL of water and try flushing the G-tube.
- Check if you can withdraw stomach or tube feed content from the G-tube with a syringe
- If you are able to, it's possible that your child's stomach is full for various reasons. Please suspend tube feed for the time being and resume the tube feed the next day.
- If you are not able to, it's possible that your child's G-tube is out of place. Please stop using the tube feed and call the clinic at 804-828-3500.
What should I do when the G-tube falls out completely?
- If it has been less than 2 weeks since the tube was placed:
- Please place a dressing over the G-tube opening.
- You will need to take your child to the emergency department or clinic for the G-tube to be replaced. Take your back-up tube with you.
- Once the G-tube is replaced, you will need a G-tube study to verify that the new tube is in the stomach.
- If it has been more than 2 weeks:
- Fill the syringe with 5mL of water
- Put the syringe to the balloon valve
- Push the water into the valve to blow up the balloon
- Remove the syringe. Check for leaking in the balloon and/or the balloon valve. If you see water leaking, you will need a new G-tube to replace the old one. Please go to the emergency department or call the clinic.
- If there's no leaking, put the syringe back on the balloon valve and pull the water back into the syringe. Do not remove the syringe.
- Place surgilube or K-Y jelly (not Vaseline) on the end of the tube.
- Place the blue introducer through the feeding port of the G-tube.
- Slide the balloon end through the gastrostomy stoma to the top of the button.
- Once the tube has been inserted, push the water in the syringe into the balloon and remove the syringe.
- Connect the extension set to the button and attach a syringe to the end of the extension set.
- Pull back the syringe to check for stomach content. Do not flush.
- Please call 804-828-3500 for the next steps. You may need a dye study to confirm the placement of the G-tube before restarting feeds through the tube. *Please do NOT use the G-tube again without calling the clinic.
The skin around the tube looks raw. What should I do?
- Sometimes, extra tissue called granulation tissue grows around the G-tube site. It is a response to the tube being in an area that is trying to heal. The tissue may be red or pink and look like the inside of your mouth. It contains many capillaries (small blood vessels) and you may see spots of blood. It is not an infection but may have yellow or green drainage that smells.
- You cannot always prevent granulation tissue. It may go away but can return. Call the surgery office if it becomes tender and painful or the drainage increases. A special medicine may be needed to shrink it.
What should I do when my child starts vomiting?
- There are many possible reasons as to why your child may be vomiting. It isn't uncommon for patients to have some nausea and emesis after receiving anesthesia. To help with the vomiting, you may ventilate the G-tube by connecting to a Farrell bag or open "racked" syringe. This should help with vomiting. You can then try resuming feeding through the G-tube again when vomiting stops and your child feels better.