Why and When You May Need a Feeding Tube

Feeding tubes provide nutrition directly into the GI tract, bypassing the mouth. There are many reasons a person may need one including gastrointestinal, mechanical or neurological problems. Such problems can lead to a person being unable to eat the quantity and variety of food and drinks needed to meet their nutritional needs. Learn from the registered dietitian with CHC Solutions, Inc., Gina Salvatori, about when it may be time for a feeding tube and if it can be a temporary solution.

When to Consider Getting One

When a child or adult is at risk of becoming malnourished, it may be time to contemplate a feeding tube. There are also other uses for the tube such as medication administration and venting or decompressing the stomach.

Getting a feeding tube can be a big decision. The discussion about this decision should include the person needing the tube, their family and their physician. During this discussion, you should incorporate goals you have for yourself or the person that would be needing the placement or undergoing the surgery.

Temporary Feeding Tubes

In many cases, a feeding tube is temporary. It can provide the proper nutrition for a person to heal and begin to take food by mouth again. The doctor can place it through the nose and into the stomach or further into the intestines.

If you need the feeding tube for longer, a more permanent tube may be placed surgically. For example, this could include a gastrostomy or low-profile button. It is important to note that even more permanent tubes can generally be removed when and if they are no longer needed. As always, please contact your doctor to discuss your options and ask questions.

To learn more, visit our enteral/nutritional blogs page at https://www.chcsolutions.com/continuum_connect/enteral-nutritional/.

*Disclaimer: Any health and wellness content presented is for general informational purposes only. Such content is not intended to replace or serve as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.