How Do You Care for a Jejunostomy Tube?


Quick Answer

People with a jejunostomy tube must keep the area clean and dry, change the dressings around the tube daily and flush the tube with a syringe of warm water, states MedlinePlus. The area of skin where the tube emerges is vulnerable to irritation and infection and requires washing with warm soapy water at the same time as bandages are changed. The bandages consist of gauze pads and tape and also should be changed whenever the area gets wet or dirty.

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Full Answer

A jejunostomy tube is a tube that leads from the outside of the abdomen directly to the small intestine, explains the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. It is installed for children who cannot eat enough food normally to grow. Surgeons make an opening for the tube by cutting a hole in the abdominal wall and the small intestine while the patient is under general anaesthesia.

They then install the tube and stitch the skin closed around it. After a day, a special device is added to keep the tube in place, since it can normally slip in and out easily. It is important that the tube not move, as this can enlarge the hole and allow leakage, advises the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This leakage, in turn, can irritate the skin, cause the skin to break down and lead to unusual types of scarring.

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