Healthcare Specialties

Feeding Tubes


What is Tube Feeding?


Tube feeding involves giving a liquid dietary formula through a flexible tube inserted into the digestive tract. It is used when patients can’t get enough nutrition by eating. Feeding tubes can be placed surgically, endoscopically or by interventional radiology.


Types of Feeding Tubes


Nasogastric Tube (NG): An NG tube passes through the nose, down the throat and esophagus and ends in the stomach. Sometimes the doctor will decide that it’s safer to give nutrition past the stomach, called a nasojejunal (NJ) tube. This is a temporary method of feeding.

Pharyngostomy Tube: Similar to an NG or NJ tube a pharyngostomy tube is placed into the left side of the throat (pharynx) rather than down the nose. This is typically used for longer-term nutrition if the patient isn’t a candidate for any of the options below.

Gastrostomy Tube: Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG) tube: A PEG tube is placed directly into the stomach. Larger amounts of feeds or bolus feeds can be given through this tube.

Gastrojejunosotmy (GJ) tube: A GJ tube is placed through the skin into the stomach (gastrostomy) with an extension that goes into the small intestine (jejunostomy). The gastrostomy port is used for venting or emptying stomach drainage or air and or for feeding and the jejunostomy port is used for feeding.

Jejunostomy tube: This tube is inserted into the small intestine and the feed is delivered via pump or by slow gravity feeds on rare occasions. This tube doesn’t have a balloon attached to it, but it is secured by sutures to the skin.