A gastrostomy, commonly known as a feeding tube, is a procedure called for when a person has swallowing or chewing or other feeding problems and cannot eat food normally through the mouth. This is very common in people who have had a stroke and until they can learn to eat again independently they may need to have a feeding tube inserted into their stomach. This allows liquid food to be fed directly into the stomach. The insertion of a feeding tube is a very minor surgical procedure called percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG). If the situation is more short-term the person may get a feeding tube that goes through the nose or mouth for a few days or weeks. However, if the medical condition is more long-term, then the gastrostomy is the procedure of choice.
Conditions that may Require a Gastrostomy
- Post-surgery – certain kinds of surgery
- Cerebral palsy
- Motor neuron disease
- Terminal cancer
- Advanced Parkinson’s disease
- Radiation therapy for neck and head tumors
- Advanced cancer of throat and tongue
- Gastric or post-surgical drainage
Gastrostomy Surgical Procedure
This surgery usually takes about a half hour to 45 minutes. After getting a local anesthetic to numb the nerves the doctor will use an endoscope through the mouth to see the lining of the stomach to see where to make the opening in the outer abdominal wall in order to insert the food tube. This opening to the stomach will be taped. Antibiotics may be given to prevent an infection or if an infection develops and pain killers may be given to prevent pain. The opening should heal in about a week.
Expert Nursing Care can Prevent Infections and Complications
Expert nursing care can go a long way to preventing infections or complications such as nausea or pneumonia, as the dressing needs to be changed often until the opening has healed, after which it must be washed every day with soap and water. Normally, a feeding tube will need to be replaced after several months.
Long-term Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Care
If you or your loved one are in need of short or long-term rehabilitation and skilled nursing care and have a gastrostomy, make sure to choose a facility that offers gastrostomy care. This is very important because the opening must be kept clean with scrupulous hygiene to prevent infections and complications.
Royal Suites Healthcare and Rehabilitation in Galloway Township, New Jersey
The Royal Suites Healthcare and Rehabilitation in Galloway Township, New Jersey, is a 5-star rehab and skilled nursing care residential facility for both short-term and long-term stays and offers expert gastrostomy care, post-surgery care, post stroke, cardiac rehabilitation and more. Royal Suites maintains a high ratio of professional staff members per person, so that your loved one will get all the attention and care that is needed. Royal Suites is located in a scenic area surrounded by eight acres of woods and beautifully landscaped gardens and is also conveniently located close to Atlanticare Regional Medical Center, Shore Memorial Hospital and major area highways.
Royal Suites has adopted the SMART Rehab program developed by Ocean Healthcare, which offers specialized rehabilitation that works in collaboration with you or your loved one’s doctors.
Scrupulous hygiene is crucial to avoid complications with gastrostomy care.