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A gastrostomy tube, also known as a g-tube or a feeding tube, helps children get the nutrition they need by providing calories, fluids and medicine. A g-tube may be needed when a child cannot eat and drink safely, or well enough, using his or her mouth.
Using a g-tube improves your child’s quality of life by allowing the body to stay properly fed and hydrated. If your child’s health improves, your doctor can remove the g-tube later on.
A child may get a gastrostomy tube for a variety of reasons, most commonly because he or she:
G-tubes are placed by a pediatric surgeon who performs a surgery called a gastrostomy. Most of the time pediatric surgeons at Children’s Hospital Colorado use a minimally-invasively surgery technique called laparoscopy. This means that the surgeon uses small incisions instead of a large one and a small camera to see inside of your child’s belly during surgery. Kids who have minimally-invasive surgery heal faster due to the smaller scars and have less pain during recovery.
Your pediatric surgeon will decide what type of g-tube is best for your child. There are two types of g-tubes:
The surgery to place a g-tube usually lasts about an hour, but can vary in length.
Most children only spend one night in the hospital after a gastrostomy tube placement. Before leaving, your care team will make sure:
Pediatric surgeons at Children’s Colorado understand that you may be concerned about how your child will live once they have a g-tube placed. Rest assured knowing that the goal is to help your child have a better quality of life. Crawling on the floor, playing sports and participating in activities, like swimming, is okay and even encouraged in order for your child to have a healthy lifestyle.
If you have concerns or questions about your child’s g-tube, please contact one of our nurses at 720-777-6571.
Pediatric surgeons at Children’s Colorado are experienced at gastrostomy tube placement; in fact, our experts perform this surgery over 200 times every year. This means that our doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants are experts in caring for children with feeding tubes and managing any concerns that come up. Children’s Colorado offers ongoing follow-up care to make sure that your child’s gastrostomy site stays healthy and the tube is functioning well.
Our care team is specially trained to work with babies, kids and teens
Not every child with one of the following health concerns will need a gastrostomy tube; however, here are some common conditions that a child may have when one is needed and placed:
If you have any questions about your child’s gastronomy surgery, please call our nurses at 720-777-6571.