Radiology

Balloon G-J Tube

Please read this information so you understand the procedure and its risks. Please ask questions about anything you do not understand

What is a balloon G-J tube?

This tube is actually two tubes in one. One tube ends in the stomach and the other tube ends in the small intestine.

A balloon is inflated inside of the stomach to prevent the tube from falling out. A disc is pushed down on the outside portion of the tube to also help keep it secure.

Why does the end that hangs out have three ports?

One port is for the stomach (gastric port), one is for the intestine (jejunal port), and one is for the balloon.

Why does the tube need to be changed in Interventional Radiology?

G-J tubes are replaced using x-ray guidance to make sure both the gastric and jejunal portion of the tube are in the right place.

How often does the tube need to be changed?

We recommend that tubes be routinely changed every three months.

What kind of skin care do I need to provide for my child's tube site?

You should look at the stoma site and surrounding skin once a day. A little drainage and redness at the opening is normal. Clean the stoma daily with unscented soap and dry the area well. Do not scrub the area, wipe it gently as this can cause skin breakdown.

Please call your doctor or nurse practitioner if you see any of the following:

What are the risks associated with tube changes?

What do I do if the tube clogs?

The intestinal portion of the tube can clog easily and therefore needs to be flushed with water throughout the day and after all feedings and medications administration. The stomach (gastric) portion should be flushed once a day.

If the tube becomes clogged, attached a 5ml syringe of warm water to the feeding tube adapter. Try flushing the tube. If you are unable to flush, pull back on the syringe plunger. Try to flush and pull back up to 5 times. If you are still unsuccessful, try using a 3ml syringe of warm water and repeat the above steps.

If after attempting the above you are still unsuccessful, please call 215-590-7000 and press prompt #1 and then prompt #2 to schedule the tube for replacement. (Mondays-Fridays 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.). After 5 p.m. during the week, call the above number first thing the next morning.

On the weekends and holidays during the day call 215-590-1000 to reach the hospital operator and ask for the Interventional Radiologist on call.

If your child cannot go without fluids, has a metabolic disease, or cannot skip a dose of medication (please check with your healthcare provider which medications cannot be skipped) then go to the CHOP emergency room until a replacement tube can be arranged.

What do I do if the tube falls out?

In general, the loss of a GJ tube is not an emergency. If the tube falls out, place the end of the old tube into the stoma 2 inches and tape it into place. This will keep the stoma from closing. DO NOT FEED through the tube.

Please call 215-590-7000 and press prompt #1 and then prompt #2 to schedule the tube for replacement. (Mondays-Fridays 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.). After 5 p.m. during the week, call this number first thing the next morning.

On the weekends and holidays during the day call 215-590-1000 to reach the hospital operator and ask for the Interventional Radiologist on call.

If your child cannot go without fluids, has a metabolic disease, or cannot skip a dose of medication (please check with your healthcare provider which medications cannot be skipped) then go to the CHOP emergency room until a replacement GJ tube can be arranged.

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