Eat Happy!

Eat Happy!


**The information provided in this BLOG is in no way intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any illness. This information should never replace the advice of a doctor. Please use this information as you see fit. This information will pertain differently to each child, each adult, and each family.**

**Resources are listed to support information associated with this BLOG. These resources support copyrights and are permissible. Information presented outside of this BLOG needs to incorporate resource sites to maintain legal status.**

**This BLOG and its information may be shared at no request; photographs will need permission from the blogger.**

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The basic thoughts for G tubes

Lots of people don't know what tips to follow for G tubes.  Here are a few that we use in our home.  This list is by far incomplete..... that would that a novel :)  Always ask if you have questions.  I'm happy to help!

Ian's G tube saved his life, and was far better than an NG tube. We actually told them no when they wanted to send home with an NG. We wanted the G tube. Ian was 2 pounds in the NICU pulling them out hand over fist. He was one year old when he got the G tube. It was placed for severe reflux, vomiting, and failure to thrive.

ONE more before...... and ONE month after G tube surgery

Here are some things to think about once the G tube is in.....


The first couple weeks it was very sore... because it was healing. That was critical time because tissue can rub, causing what they call granulation tissue. Granulation tissue bleeds rather easily, and look like a blister, even though it isn’t. It is actually common among kids with G tube irritations. It comes from friction. Ian had a hard time with it early, but there are meds that can help. Also, protection helps..... I can mention those things later :)

This link at talks about troubleshooting, and granulation tissue is included:


We made sure the site was freely moving and well protected. Sounds like it contradicts itself, but not really. We clean it twice a day, every day..... works wonders! Don’t skip it. I’ll walk you through what we do. We used to do other routines, but they didn’t work very well. Then our surgeon told us this routine, and it only took a week for improvement, and it’s been almost perfect ever since (started 9 months ago.) it keeps the area clean and very dry..... dry is important! Moisture creates friction.

STEP ONE- clean with Johnson Baby Shampoo and a q-tip

STEP TWO- use a wet q-tip to wet the area and was out a lot of the shampoo

STEP THREE- use a dry q-tip to dry the area pretty well

STEP FOUR- use a corn starch powder... gently tap some on the G tube site. I like to use the CVS gold bond generic corn starch powder

STEP FIVE- rub the powder round the site and blow the extra off..... this keeps it very dry!

STEP SIX- rub maximum strength Desitin cream (purple tube/tub) all around the site

STEP SEVEN- use split IV gauze or a button cover around the site.... secure gauze with tape.

**It sounds like a lot, but it gets really fast :)


I mentioned the split IV gauze and button covers. I prefer the gauze because it is thinner. The split IV gauze comes in packs of two. We use one coming from each direction. They overlap that way. The button covers come in lots of shapes, colors, and sizes. My BLOG page has a lot of supply links.

In addition to the covers, they do make belts to protect the tubes (AKA buttons... if it IS a button. Pegs are a bit different....... a long tube coming out of the body). We like the BENIK belt. it’s velcro, neoprene, stays in place, and totally sizable. Therapist, OT/PTs, can get them for you. They kept Ian from rubbing his button while he was playing, jumping, running. Not perfect, but awesome.

Some people like using the onsies overnight and during the day for protection, and to keep little hands away. We couldn’t use them because Ian needed continuous feedings from a pump, day and night. Now, some people would still do both, but we couldn’t make it work for us.  More on that in the FEEDING section below.


Ian never lost his tube for the first year. Now, he has had 4 come out since November. Mostly because he is more active and they get rubbed. It’s freaking scary when they come out, but don’t totally freak..... you have some time. Often times, you have about 15 minutes before stuff starts happening. If it comes out before it is healed, go to the ER without question. Later on, as they “slip out,” you can make a judgement call.

We always keep a back-up-button. Nice insurance companies will cover for a back-up. That way, when an emergency arises, you have an answer. Remember to replace the back-up-button after you use it :) 

I have a video on how we change Ian's button.  He's not too happy because he is very tired...... but the job was done.....


Venting allows air to escape through the button. Ian had a reflux fundoplication surgery with his G tube, so he had trouble burping. When they cannot release air through burping, venting allows the pressure release. There are a few ways to do this, but the easiest is to hook up a locked empty extension, with a 60 mL syringe on the end and then open the lock. You will hear the air escape. I have a YouTube video on how to use just a plain BD sterile syringe too. It is the same video as the cleaning video.


Depending on how you are going to feed, there are different things to try/avoid. If you want to, let me know and I can give you some pointers.  We used backpacks during the day to hold the pump and bag.  We personally like the ones from Feeding Essentials the best.  They worked very well for Ian.

At night, we used the belts to secure the tubing that wrapped around him and then down through a leg-warmer on his leg. Then it attached to the pump. I can always give you more ideas if you’ll be doing continuous feedings..... let me know. 

We attach the extension to Ian, the loop it through his belt to hold it in place.
We then run the tubing behind him, and down and out his pant leg.
This way, he can roll around without getting wrapped up.

Then we attach the tubing for the feeding bag and clamp it in place to keep from "pull-outs"

I remember thinking it was this very frail thing and I was afraid to touch it..... now we can do everything in the dark. It will become second nature. Just keep doing it. Let me know if you have other questions or concerns. I’m happy to help. :)

*** I always need to mention that I am NOT a doctor. I am the mommy of a tubie, with quite a bit of experience with research, and as a medical professional in the field of dental hygiene, I have had lots of medical classes..... but I am NOT a doctor. Always check with them first, even if they don’t agree with your decisions. ***

No comments:

Post a Comment