Placing a feeding tube directly into the stomach might be necessary if the patient is severely deficient in nutrients, recovering from surgery, or suffering from a chronic illness. This process is not complicated, and medical technology has made significant improvements that allow the patient to shower and wear comfortable clothes while on a feeding tube.
Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastronomy
A percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy, or PEG, places a tube directly into the stomach under local anaesthesia. The tube is inserted endoscopically through the mouth and led down into the jejunum, which is in the small intestines. From this point, the tube is brought out to the abdominal wall. A PEG tube is ideal if the patient requires tube feeding for more than three or four weeks.
Percutaneous Endoscopic Jejunostomy
A percutaneous endoscopic jejunostomy, or PEJ, can be conducted after the initial PEG tube has been inserted and the abdominal stoma has healed. A PEJ is used for longer-term tube feeding.
The tube should be cleaned daily to avoid irritation and infection. If the patient is unconscious, it is important to protect the tube so it does not get pulled out.
Sometimes infections occur after the tube is removed; however, antibiotics typically alleviate them.