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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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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
I am interested in what type of tube your husband has that the outside tube can be removed.
My husband has a gastrostomy button, which is low profile. This can be a replacement for the original feeding tube after 2-3 months of the other type. The outside tube is clicked on for feeding and then clicked off after feeding. The tube should be cleaned out with water, for instance with a piston syringe of plain water. It's nice to not have a tube dangling in between feeding and while trying to sleep. No doctor told us about this being available. I had to do research online and ask the doctor about it. Since having the new tube, we have had no more midnight trips to the emergency room because of the balloon collapsing.
I also have this problem. I had a G tube placed in July 2021 due to severe esophageal strictures. I have had it pop out six times to date. I try to reinsert the tube to maintain the stoma opening. If that is not possible, I try to insert a Foley catheter to maintain the stoma opening and go to the ER for placement of a new tube. This is incredibly frustrating, painful and expensive. I am at a loss to explain why this keeps occurring. I am extremely careful in handling the feeding tube connections and mindful of bending over to pick up objects or suddenly turning my torso but once the balloon deflates, game over. I wish they could suture the tube to the chest wall to keep it in place but the doc's refuse to do so. Thus, you must embrace the suck and carry on.
Feeding tubes stink. I might eventually have to get another one but I hate the things. I could not get any of them to last more than six months.
Doctors and hospitals are eager to insert feeding tubes but they won’t support you when it comes to routine maintenance. If you need one of those tools for clearing clogs, you end up paying a bunch of money for something that is just a long piece of plastic similar to devices used to unclog sinks. And you will be lucky if you can find one to buy online.
Another annoyance: Food pump has an alarm that I can’t hear. It’s too high-pitched. Other people in the house can hear it and they get mad at me because they think I am deliberately allowing the machine to make that whiny noise.
If you are in a nursing home, feeding tubes are okay. The staff should know how to deal with clogs. Otherwise, feeding tubes are of dubious value in my opinion as a medical consumer.
Also, regarding the stoma closing immediately after the tube falls out, I doubt that it is going to happen very fast. My stoma didn’t close until I had surgery to correct a fistula. It might have been more than a year after the tube fell out.
I've had similar problems with my G tubes falling out over the last year. If your husband has a G tube with a balloon it's advisable to check the fluid level in the balloon every week via the balloon port. It usually should have 7-10 ml of water. If the balloon loses water it will deflate and will not keep the G tube anchored in place. You can use a syringe to remove and change the water every 7-10 days. The water keeps the balloon inflated which helps keep the tube in place. The next time your husband has his tube replaced, ask the nurses to demonstrate how to maintain his tube. There are also several instructive videos regarding G tube maintenance on You Tube. I hope this is helpful.