Feeding tube falls out.
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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It's been great. One change has been that I am adding three syringes of water to each container of feeding tube food instead of the two I was taught to use. With this type of feeding tube, the food goes down easier with the additional water. My husband is so glad that he no longer has to wear a pouch for the feeding tube. I like that I can wash out the tube after every feeding and let it air dry.
Again, research and trial and error are important.
Thanks for asking.
Hi everyone. I know I'm late coming to this discussion but I did have a feeding tube for a couple years and it did fall out several times. Each time I ended up hospitalized for several days after going to an ER. The first time it happened I lost consciousness and my wife called 911 because I appeared to be having a seizure. (I got tested and it turned out the fainting and "seizure" were apparently just some kind of anxiety attack because the test found no evidence of neurological problems.)
The second time I "lost" my tube it was because a silly black cat named Tex was sitting on my lap while I was connected to the feeding pump. Tex decided he wanted to do a dramatic dismount and leap onto the floor but he got tangled up in the feeding line and pulled the j tube right out of my abdomen. And it didn't hurt at all. In fact, I never noticed any pain when the tubes fell out.
On average, it seemed like I was going to the ER every six months to get a tube replaced. In fact, one MD in an ER told me and my wife that the tubes tend to deteriorate from exposure to digestive fluids and seldom last more than six months or so. However, when I asked a GI specialist about this, he adamantly insisted that some tubes can and do last as long as five years. He assured me that doctors are not deliberately installing tubes that need to be replaced every few months.
Anyway I was able to train myself to regain the ability to chew and swallow enough soft food so that I do not need the feeding tube. I stopped using it a few months ago, and then about three weeks ago it fell out. I am not going to have it replaced. I still have a stoma in my abdomen that is healing slowly. There was some kind of infection near the site when the tube fell out and I am taking Keflex for it but will be through with the antibiotic in a day or two.
I had some scary but inconsequential pain in the first few days after the tube fell out. It was intrusive enough that I took a Tramadol just so I would not have to think about it, but after a day or two it went away. I've been told I might experience a few pin-prick pains in my abdomen at random times over the next couple months but need not worry about the minor discomfort.
Stomach acid does deteriorate the tube. My husband had a feeding tube for 14 years and I changed his as needed. I was a nurse. Those bulbs on the end lost their ability to keep liquid and deflated. Easy to change out
Where did you get the feeding tubes? Were you given them or did you find a source to buy them? Why didn't you use the button type?
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.
Correction to my post: should read 4 or 5 ml of water not cc's.
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.
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?
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!
And the best part? You're still here to share with and support others!