Read this information so that we can be sure you understand the procedure and its risks. Please ask questions about anything you do not understand.
The term “percutaneous” means “to go through the skin.” A percutaneous feeding tube is placed through the abdominal wall into the stomach to allow feeding directly into the stomach or intestines. A tube feeding into the stomach is a gastrostomy tube, or G-tube; a tube feeding into the intestines is a gastrojejunostomy tube, or GJ-tube.
The first tube your child has is called the primary tube, or CORPAK®.
No. The procedure will be performed with IV sedation or general anesthesia.
Your child may experience discomfort around the tube for several days. We will give your child pain medicine to alleviate the tenderness.
Generally the procedure takes one hour. However, it may take longer.
This procedure is considered low-risk. However, complications may occur, including:
We begin by examining your child’s upper abdomen with an ultrasound probe, to locate the liver and spleen. We insert X-ray dye (contrast) through the rectum into the colon, and pass a small tube through the nose into the stomach and inject some air into the stomach. These steps allow us to identify important structures in the abdomen, so we can choose a safe place for the feeding tube.
Once we have marked a spot for the feeding tube, we will inject a local numbing medicine into the skin. The interventional radiologist will use live X-ray (fluoroscopy) to guide the passage of a needle through the skin into the stomach. (Your child will be protected by an X-ray shield.) Then, using a special technique, the doctor will guide the tube through the mouth, down the esophagus, into the stomach, and then out of the stomach through a small incision (approximately 1 centimeter).
Very rarely, patients experience airway compromise, which means they have difficulty breathing while the tube is passed through the esophagus. We will monitor the level of oxygen in your child’s blood throughout the procedure. If airway compromise occurs, we will know immediately and correct it.
Your child will be admitted to the hospital for an overnight stay. We will give your child pain medicine and antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection. Your child will probably have some pain or mild discomfort around the tube for several days.
Tube feeds will be started after eight hours if there are no post-procedure symptoms. We will teach you how to care for your child’s feeding tube. Your child won’t have any stitches at the site of the tube. There will be a small piece of gauze between the tube and the skin.
Your child will have a follow-up appointment with Interventional Radiology 10 days after the procedure to inspect the site.
Your child may shower or take a sponge bath 48 hours after the procedure. It is very important that the area around the tube is not submerged in water for two weeks.
There are no specific activity restrictions. However, your child shouldn’t participate in contact sports or rough playing that might pull the tube.
After three months the primary tube will be removed and changed to a low-profile button, which sits 1 to 2 centimeters off the skin, or another type of tube called a MIC®, which hangs out approximately 6 inches. Your referring physician will decide which type of tube is best for your child.
These tubes are inserted and removed more easily than the original. They will be changed every three months on an outpatient basis without sedation.