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Gastrostomy Tubes

For some children, eating and drinking safely, or taking in enough food and fluids by mouth for proper growth and nutrition can be a challenge. When this is the case, a gastrostomy tube may be a useful tool help your child achieve the recommended nutritional goals. A Mic-Key button is a low-profile tube that allows children to receive nutrition, fluids, and medicine directly into the stomach.

Does my child need a gastrostomy button?

If your health care provider has concerns that your child may need nutritional support, you will be referred to the General Surgery Clinic for evaluation. At the consultation, we will discuss whether a gastrostomy tube is needed and provide you with the resources you need to help make that decision.

Gastrostomy button placement in the operating room

Gastrostomy tubes are placed laparoscopically in the operating room under general anesthesia, and typically takes less than thirty minutes. During the procedure, a small camera will be inserted through the belly button, and an instrument is used to bring the stomach closer to the abdominal wall so that a gastrostomy tube can be placed into the stomach from the outside. A small balloon is then inflated on the inside of the button to hold the button in place.

What happens after surgery?

Once the procedure is completed and your child is fully awake, your child will be transferred to an observation unit where our nursing staff will ensure your child is comfortable. Typically we will begin using the gastrostomy button for feedings within four hours. You will receive the necessary supplies and education for home discharge and will be able to practice using the tube for feeds. Your child will most likely be discharged on the same day, or early the next day.

General Gastrostomy Tube Care

How to provide care for your gastrostomy tube on a daily basis.

Gastrostomy Care after Initial Placement

Caring for your gastrostomy tube for the first 8 weeks after it is placed by the surgeon, including cleaning, removing any sutures, and what to do if the tube is dislodged. 

Gastrostomy Care after 8 weeks

Caring for your gastrostomy tube after the initial 8 weeks, including cleaning and how and when to replace gastrostomy tube.