Enteral refers to within the digestive system or intestine. enteral feeding tubes allow liquid food to enter your stomach or intestine through a tube. The soft, flexible tube enters a surgically created opening in the abdominal wall called an ostomy. An enterostomy tube in the stomach is called a gastrostomy. A tube in the small intestine is called a jejunostomy. The site on the abdomen where the tube is inserted is called a stoma. The location of the stoma depends on your specific operation and the shape of your abdomen.
● Lie flat against your body
● Are round in shape
● Are red and moist (similar to the inside of your mouth)
● Have no feeling
Cancer, trauma, nervous system and digestive system disorders, and congenital birth defects can cause difficulty in feeding. Some people also have difficulty swallowing, which increases the chance that they will breathe in food (aspirate). People who have difficulties feeding can benefit from a feeding tube. Your doctor will explain to you the specific reasons why you or your family member need a feeding tube. For some, a feeding tube is a new way of life, but for others, the tube is temporary and used until the problem can be treated or repaired.
Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) is the name of a procedure where a G-tube is placed by endoscopy. Placement of a PEG tube can be done under local anesthesia with sedation. A narrow tube with a light on the end (endoscope) is inserted in the mouth and moved down into the stomach. A puncture is made with large needle through the skin over the stomach, and a heavy string is pulled through it by the endoscope. The string comes out the mouth and attaches to a long tube, which is then pulled into the stomach and out of the skin incision. A bumper on the end of the tube keeps it inside the stomach, and a bolster keeps it in place from the outside. These are initially long tubes that can be changed to low-profile devices later.
Gastrojejunal or GJ-tubes are used when feedings need to bypass the mouth, esophagus, and stomach. These tubes or low-profile devices are usually inserted through the existing healed tract of a G-tube. The tube end is moved from the stomach into the small intestine by guide wires under X-ray imaging. They can also be positioned by endoscopy or at the time of an operation.
A jejunostomy (J) tube is also used when feedings need to bypass the stomach. They are usually placed at the time of a related operation but can also be placed radiologically. The J-tube is inserted through the wall of the intestine. The tube is secured on the outside of the abdomen, and a small balloon may help keep it in place inside the jejunum (small intestine).