Feedings tubes have so many puposes. For LK and LB, the feeding tube were needed until they could successfully master the suck/swallow/breathe skill, allowing them to eat without choking or aspirating.
LE initially got a tube so we could feed her what she needed. She was very volume sensitive. Anything over 2 ounces would immediately cause her to vomit. We had to increase the calories in her formula by changing how we mixed it. That way, she got the calories she needed without giving her more than 2 ounces. The tube allowed us to feed her slowly so her belly didn’t get overwhelmed.
Over time, her needs changed. She has gastroparesis, and there are times her belly doesn’t empty into her intestines, and her intestines don’t move anything along, so she ends up very distended and uncomfortable. The tube can be used to vent all of that extra pressure out (we often call it her pressure release valve). This makes her much more comfortable and happy. The tube also allows us to give her MiraLax or other meds straight into her belly.
Feeding tubes serve a lot of purposes. They aren’t just for kids or adults who are unable to eat. Sometimes they can relieve pressure. Sometimes they allow medications to run.
LE had a g tube. Another type of tube is a G/J tube. This allows people to be fed directly into their intestines, skipping the stomach entirely. Many with gastroparesis go this route, and is prevents feeds from backing up into the stomach.
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