Feeding tube falls out.

Posted by walisky @walisky, Aug 19, 2019

Does anyone else have a problem with their feeding tube balloon deflating and the tube falling out? It has to be replaced at the emergency room about every 3 months. We can't leave town because we worry that this will happen while we are on the road. Thanks.

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@walisky

Thank you for your assistance. We will try asking more questions the next time this happens. I don't know if the emergency room could give us the name of the manufacturer. I assume that we are "stuck" with whatever brand the hospital purchases. Another type might require surgery if it is available. We were curious to know if this was a problem other people faced but so far no one has replied to say this has happened to them. This tells us that we need to be asking more questions and we will do that.

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My son has a Mic key g tube which is just a button with water filled balloon on inside to hold in place. Your tube is probably falling out because sometimes the water in the balloon deflates. You will have to add water with a small 5cc syringe (comes in the box with the button) which screws into the port on the side of the button. The balloon should hold about 4 or 5 CC's of water. Since you can't see how much water is still in it we just add water slowly until button feels right again. If keeps falling out balloon may have hole in it and just needs new button. We change our son's about every 6 months.

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@eramotla

My son has a Mic key g tube which is just a button with water filled balloon on inside to hold in place. Your tube is probably falling out because sometimes the water in the balloon deflates. You will have to add water with a small 5cc syringe (comes in the box with the button) which screws into the port on the side of the button. The balloon should hold about 4 or 5 CC's of water. Since you can't see how much water is still in it we just add water slowly until button feels right again. If keeps falling out balloon may have hole in it and just needs new button. We change our son's about every 6 months.

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Correction to my post: should read 4 or 5 ml of water not cc's.

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@walisky

I did some research on the bumper vs. balloon feeding tube and I now think that the balloon type is meant for temporary use because it involves less surgery. We have a call in to the doctor to see if my husband can have the 3-4 hour outpatient surgery to put in the bumper type. I'm sure that the original doctors had no idea that my husband would need a permanent feeding tube but my husband cannot open his mouth enough for daily meals and he has failed multiple swallowing tests. Thanks to you and everyone who has commented on this.

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I have had a feeding tube for over 20 years and have had very few problems with the balloon type. If the balloon deflates a bit, I simply add a few ccs of sterile water. My sister has learned to change out the "button" for me when it's needed. I can do it myself, but it's a bit awkward.

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@aalbb

I have had a feeding tube for over 20 years and have had very few problems with the balloon type. If the balloon deflates a bit, I simply add a few ccs of sterile water. My sister has learned to change out the "button" for me when it's needed. I can do it myself, but it's a bit awkward.

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Welcome @aalbb. I appreciate your jumping in to this conversation to offer tips to others like @walisky.

May I ask what led to your needing a feeding tube?

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@colleenyoung

Welcome @aalbb. I appreciate your jumping in to this conversation to offer tips to others like @walisky.

May I ask what led to your needing a feeding tube?

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I was diagnosed with squamous cell cancer on the base of my tongue in 1995 and had recurrences in 1996 & 1997. The tongue resection in 1997 left me with dysphagia and silent aspiration. I fought having the feeding tube for a long time, but have made my peace with it now and am glad I never have to figure out what I want for supper!

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@aalbb

I was diagnosed with squamous cell cancer on the base of my tongue in 1995 and had recurrences in 1996 & 1997. The tongue resection in 1997 left me with dysphagia and silent aspiration. I fought having the feeding tube for a long time, but have made my peace with it now and am glad I never have to figure out what I want for supper!

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And the best part? You're still here to share with and support others!

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@colleenyoung

Hi @walisky, I can imagine that this is worrisome. I'm tagging a few other members, like @gaybinator @karly @patriciagsr @alpaca and @jeffk, who have experience with feeding tubes and may have suggestions for you. You may also be interested in the tips suggested in this discussion:
– Anyone Caring For Someone who Uses A Feeding Tube? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/anyone-caring-for-a-feeding-tube-patient/

When you have gone to the emergency room, did they give you any suggestions about the balloon and how to keep the feeding tube from falling out? Have you contacted the manufacturer?

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Keeping it taped to your abdomen with a flexitrack or silk tape is the best way. Hopefully, you will not need it much longer. It can also be sewn in again.

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My husband had a J tube implanted after esophagus surgery in March 2022. Due to a lot of complications he ended up in the hospital for 27 days. During that time they used the feeding tube for about 10 days and then allowed him to begin swallowing liquids and then soft food. They did not want to take out the tube just in case he had further swallowing issues, so he was released on April 4 with the tube in tact but we weren’t going to use it because at that time he was able to eat and drink. Three days later he woke up and said my T-shirt is wet. He swung his legs over the bed and sat up and I pulled up the hem of his T-shirt and the entire tube just slid out of his body! His doctor determined that he didn’t need another one because he was eating food. But it was quite a shock to just see the thing come right out of his body!

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@agould105

My husband had a J tube implanted after esophagus surgery in March 2022. Due to a lot of complications he ended up in the hospital for 27 days. During that time they used the feeding tube for about 10 days and then allowed him to begin swallowing liquids and then soft food. They did not want to take out the tube just in case he had further swallowing issues, so he was released on April 4 with the tube in tact but we weren’t going to use it because at that time he was able to eat and drink. Three days later he woke up and said my T-shirt is wet. He swung his legs over the bed and sat up and I pulled up the hem of his T-shirt and the entire tube just slid out of his body! His doctor determined that he didn’t need another one because he was eating food. But it was quite a shock to just see the thing come right out of his body!

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Oh gosh, @agould105. I would've been shocked too to see the whole J-tube to just come out. What did you do when that happened? Did you have a number to call or messaging on a patient portal to contact his cancer team or symptom management nurse?

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@agould105

My husband had a J tube implanted after esophagus surgery in March 2022. Due to a lot of complications he ended up in the hospital for 27 days. During that time they used the feeding tube for about 10 days and then allowed him to begin swallowing liquids and then soft food. They did not want to take out the tube just in case he had further swallowing issues, so he was released on April 4 with the tube in tact but we weren’t going to use it because at that time he was able to eat and drink. Three days later he woke up and said my T-shirt is wet. He swung his legs over the bed and sat up and I pulled up the hem of his T-shirt and the entire tube just slid out of his body! His doctor determined that he didn’t need another one because he was eating food. But it was quite a shock to just see the thing come right out of his body!

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My husband's feeding tubes would come out on a regular basis. I did some research online and found a type that stays in. Told his doctor that we wanted him to switch it out and haven't had any problems since. A plus is that the outside tube is taken off in between feedings. No dangling tube.

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I have had a feeding tube in my stomach almost two years. It fell out once last winter while I was taking a hot shower. There was an internal bumper on the end but no balloon. I was so shocked I washed it off and stuck it back in. It was probably not the wisest move but I'm none the worse for it. I now put gauze and cotton balls around the external bumper and hold them in place by wraping my stomach two rolls of cloth bandages. I now shower with the wraps on with no recurrence. My surgery to insert the tube was a nightmare that I have no desire to repeat. I hope your husband finds a solution.

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@walisky

My husband's feeding tubes would come out on a regular basis. I did some research online and found a type that stays in. Told his doctor that we wanted him to switch it out and haven't had any problems since. A plus is that the outside tube is taken off in between feedings. No dangling tube.

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I am interested in what type of tube your husband has that the outside tube can be removed.

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