Skip to content
HOW CAN WE HELP YOU? Call 1-800-TRY-CHOP
Learn more about cecostomy tube placement, which is used to administer an enema. This can quickly and completely empty the large intestines through the anus. The tube is a catheter (a thin tube) placed into the cecum, the first part of the large bowel (in the lower right abdomen).
Before the procedure, your child must follow a “bowel prep” to cleanse the colon. Proper bowel preparation is important for successful placement of a cecostomy tube.
The doctor begins the procedure by inflating the colon with air until the cecum is distended. The doctor inserts a small needle through the skin into the cecum, and then attaches the bowel to the abdominal wall with two stitches. A catheter is then threaded through a special hollow needle into the cecum. To confirm proper placement of the catheter, we will inject contrast dye through the catheter, using live X-ray (fluoroscopy) to make sure the dye travels into the cecum. Your child will be protected by an X-ray shield during the procedure.
No. We will use either IV sedation or general anesthesia so that your child isn’t awake.
The procedure is considered low-risk. However, potential complications include:
Your child must follow a clear-fluid diet for two days before the procedure. (We will provide you with detailed instructions.) The night before, your child will drink sodium phosphate oral
solution, a laxative to help clean out the bowel. On the day of the procedure, your child will have an abdominal X-ray to determine whether the bowel is clean of stool. A repeat dose of sodium phosphate may be required.
Most children are hospitalized for two to three days to minimize the risk of complications. Your child will receive IV antibiotics while in the hospital, and we will give you a prescription for oral antibiotics at discharge. Your child will be allowed to move around as tolerated. The catheter insertion site may be tender for several days.
A clear-liquid diet must be continued until normal bowel function returns. This may take several days. We will provide detailed instructions.
Your child’s doctor will talk about the proper bowel-cleansing regimen with you based on your child’s unique needs. Usually you can start administering enemas through the tube after approximately one week.
Yes. The tube will be removed two months after it is placed. It will be replaced with a low-profile tube, called a Chait TrapdoorTM, which sits on the surface of the skin. Routine changes of this tube will be performed once or twice a year.