A gastrostomy tube is placed through the anterior abdominal wall into the stomach, allowing an individual to be fed and given medications. The procedure is done by placing a small, thin catheter through the mouth or nose into the stomach. The stomach is then inflated with air which can be viewed through x-ray. An ultrasound is used to confirm that there are no solid organs blocking access into the stomach. When this is confirmed, 2 sutures are placed in the stomach to secure the stomach to the anterior abdominal wall. Then, a small incision is made, access is gained into the stomach and the tube is inserted. A balloon on the tube inflates it to secure it to the abdominal with a disc device. The tube need to be exchanged for proper function as needed.
A gastro-jejunostomy (G-J) tube is similar to the gastronomy tube as it extends through the stomach, but the distal tip is in the small bowel. These catheters are placed in patients who have difficulty emptying their stomach or demonstrate gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). These have both a stomach port and a small bowel port for feeding or draining the stomach as needed. The process of placing a G-J tube is the same as placing a gastronomy tube except for the distal tip location. The tube may need to be exchanged for proper function as needed.
A jejunostomy tube is a thin, plastic tube inserted directly into small intestine through a small incision in the abdomen. This is used to deliver food and medicine directly into the small intestine. This tube is placed in the same manor as the gastrostomy tube. Jejunostomy tubes are placed when patients had a prior significant stomach surgery or have blockages that don't allow for access into the stomach including hiatal hernias. The tube may need to be exchanged for proper function as needed.
Nasal-jejuno tubes are placed into the stomach or small bowel either through the nose, mouth, or directly through the abdomen.