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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Gastrostomy tubes and feedings: A parent's guide

a gastrostomy tube in place
A gastrostomy tube is placed through an opening in the stomach. It is often abbreviated as GT or G-tube. (© 2007 Children's Memorial Hospital)

These post have been developed to provide information about:

  • Administering feedings through the feeding tube
  • Changing the dressings and cleaning around the tube
  • Problems that may occur with the gastrostomy tube or the site.

The information contained in this material should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your physician. There may be individual circumstances of your child's health care which cause a variation in treatment.


Gastroesophageal reflux: Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) is the movement of stomach contents into the esophagus.

Gastrostomy: An opening or “hole” between the abdominal wall and the stomach for the purpose of giving stomach feedings. A gastrostomy is done in the operating room.

Nissen fundoplication: An operation to prevent food and liquids from going from the stomach up into the esophagus.

Gastrostomy tube: A tube that is placed through the gastrostomy opening to give feedings and keep the hole open. Often abbreviated: GT or G-tube.

Low profile gastrostomy tube or “button”: A small type of gastrostomy tube. It has a separate piece that attaches for feedings. Some tubes that are often referred to as buttons include: MIC-Key, and Bard button.

Bolus feeding: A feeding given over 30 to 45 minutes. These can be given by gravity or on a feeding pump. They are generally done 1 to 5 times per day depending on how much the child eats or drinks by mouth.

Continuous feeding: A feeding given over 12 to 24 hours. It is usually easier to give continuous feedings with a pump that controls the rate at which the feedings are given.

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