Glossary Entry: Gastrostomy Tube (G-Tube)

Overview

Definition: A gastrostomy tube, commonly referred to as a G-tube, is a medical device that is inserted through the abdomen into the stomach. It is used to provide nutrition, fluids, and medications to patients who are unable to consume food or liquids orally.

Detailed Description

Types and Variations

Variations: Gastrostomy tubes come in various sizes and types, including low-profile buttons and traditional tubes. The choice of tube depends on the patient’s specific needs and healthcare provider’s recommendations.

Indications

Common Uses: G-tubes are commonly used for patients who have difficulty swallowing, neurological disorders, head and neck cancers, or severe malnutrition. They are also used for long-term nutritional support in individuals who are unable to eat or drink enough to maintain adequate nutrition.

Insertion and Placement

Procedure: The insertion of a G-tube is typically performed under sedation or anesthesia. The placement involves making an incision in the abdomen, creating a small opening into the stomach, and securing the tube in place. Specific techniques such as the Seldinger technique may be used for safe and effective insertion.

Clinical Considerations

Potential Complications

Risks: Potential complications associated with G-tube placement include infection, leakage around the tube, dislodgement, granulation tissue formation, and gastrointestinal bleeding.

Care and Maintenance

Maintenance Requirements: Proper care and maintenance of the G-tube include regular cleaning, flushing with water to prevent clogging, and monitoring for signs of infection or irritation around the insertion site.

Additional Information

Related Devices

Associated Terms: Related devices or accessories that are often used with G-tubes include extension sets, feeding pumps, and syringes for medication administration.

Innovations and Advancements

Recent Developments: Recent innovations in G-tube technology include low-profile, skin-level devices that reduce the risk of accidental dislodgement and improve patient comfort.

Regulatory and Safety Notes

Regulations: G-tubes are regulated medical devices, and their use must comply with relevant medical device regulations and guidelines to ensure patient safety and proper function.