What Is a Gastric Tube Feeding Procedure?


Quick Answer

A gastric tube feeding procedure is the insertion of a feeding tube into the stomach to facilitate the passage of food, according to MedlinePlus. It is also known as gastrostomy tube insertion, stomach tube insertion or percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube insertion and can either be permanent or temporary.

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Full Answer

Gastric tube feeding procedure is suitable for people with swallowing disorders, people who cannot eat enough food through the mouth and children born with problems affecting the mouth, stomach or esophagus, says MedlinePlus. A problem in which food falls in the windpipe while swallowing also necessitates this procedure. However, the procedure may result in infection and bleeding.

To perform a gastric tube feeding procedure, a doctor first administers a sedative and a painkiller, usually through a vein injection, states MedlinePlus. He may also spray a numbing drug into the patient's mouth to prevent coughing during the insertion of an endoscope. He then inserts the endoscope, which is a flexible tube fitted with a camera on one end, into the stomach through the mouth. The camera helps the doctor to observe the inside of the stomach to facilitate the insertion of the gastric feeding tube. Once the endoscope is inserted, the doctor cleans and numbs the skin on the left of the abdomen, makes an incision, inserts a gastric feeding tube into the stomach through the incision and then stitches the incision.

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