A gastrostomy, commonly called a feeding tube, is necessary when a person cannot eat normally. In this case, the feeding tube is inserted directly into the stomach by a minor surgical procedure, which allows liquid food to be poured straight into the stomach instead of being fed through the mouth.
Reasons for a Gastrostomy
Many people who have had a stroke are not able to eat and part of stroke rehabilitation is teaching them how to eat again.
Motor Neuron Disease
Advanced Parkinson’s patients have swallowing problems and they can aspirate food into their lungs and get a dangerous kind of pneumonia, so it is safer for them to be fed by a feeding tube.
Many people with advanced dementia stop eating and they must be fed with a food tube.
Post-surgery – certain kinds of mouth or throat surgery
After Radiation Therapy for tumors of the neck and head
Advanced cancer of the throat and tongue
Gastric surgery or post-surgical drainage
Surgical Procedure for Gastrostomy
The minor surgical procedure for the insertion of a feeding tube is called percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG). It usually takes about a half hour to 45 minutes. The doctor will administer a local anesthetic to numb the nerves and then put an endoscope through the mouth of the patient in order to see the stomach lining. Then he has to make an opening in the outer abdominal wall that will allow the food tube to be inserted.
Scrupulous Hygiene can Prevent Infections and Complications
The gastrostomy opening is kept taped and scrupulous hygiene must be performed by the nurses and caretakers to prevent infection and complications. Antibiotics may be given to prevent an infection or after one develops. Complications can be nausea or as serious as pneumonia.
Gastrostomy Care at Park Crescent Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in East Orange, New Jersey
Park Crescent Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center offers state-of-the-art gastrostomy care and provides expert nursing care to prevent infections and complications from developing from a gastrostomy. The dressing needs to be changed frequently until the opening into the stomach has healed. Once it is healed it must be washed daily with soap and water. In most cases a feeding tube needs to be changed after several months.
If your loved one is in need of short or long-term rehabilitation and skilled nursing care and has a gastrostomy, you can be assured that your loved one will be in the best of hands at Park Crescent. Park Crescent also takes pride in the warm caring attitude of their staff of skilled nurses and family-like atmosphere. The motto is “one heart, many hands.” There are also fantastic recreational programs and activities, entertainment, crafts, games, a Garden Club, Gourmet Cooking Club and more.
Hospitals near Park Crescent Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center
For your loved one in need of gastrostomy care choose a facility like Park Crescent Healthcare and Rehabilitation that offers expert skilled nursing gastrostomy care.