G-tube Tips from Dr. Julie Sanchez

Dr. Julie Sanchez, Pediatric Surgeon and co-founder of Spoonie Threads, shares her insight for parents working with g-tubes (also known as g-buttons or Mic-Keys) on their little ones.



Read on for more info, and share your questions for Dr. Sanchez in the blog comments below!

Q: How often should a g-tube be changed?

Dr. Sanchez : Most g-buttons should be changed out every 6 months and usually upsized once a year. 

 

Q: Do you recommend venting the b-gutton? 

Dr. Sanchez: Venting before feeds can help your child tolerate his feed better, especially if your child has a fundoplication or a wrap.  

 

Q: My son pulled out his g-tube and I see discoloration in the balloon? Can I put it back in or is it normal due to stomach contents. 

Dr. Sanchez: If you check the water in the balloon and it's discolored, it likely has a leak. I recommend changing out the g-button. Read more about how to prevent leaking here. I remind parents to keep the site dry and tubes secured with the snaps. Most g-buttons are accidently pulled out by caregivers. 

 

Q: What to do about developed Granulation Tissue?

Dr. Sanchez: The surrounding skin around granulation tissue is fragile and can ooze, bleed, drain, or cause the button to have a poor fit and leak. It is important to keep a properly fit G-button in place to prevent granulation tissue. There are many ways to treat granulation tissue from ointments to cauterization. A G-tube pad can help absorb some of the drainage and provide comfort. Again, it is important for the pad to be kept dry and change the pad when it is wet or moist to prevent further skin breakdown.  

Hypertrophis Scar may develop around a healing wound. 

See also: Swimming with a G-tube

Dr. Julie Sanchez is a general & pediatric surgeon in Austin, Texas. She received her medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, completed her residency in general surgery at SUNY Brooklyn/Kings County Hospital, and her fellowship in pediatric trauma at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. Dr. Sanchez is part of a successful surgical practice in Austin, TX affiliated with Dell Children’s Hospital and has joined UT Dell Medical School as an affiliate professor. 

Informational Resources  
St. Jude's Children's Hospital: What is Gastrostomy? 
WebMD Feeding Tubes 
Living With Tube Feeding  

Follow At-Home Guide for Newly Created Gastrostomy Tubes 

Blogs and Communities  
G-Tube Babies Facebook Group  
Adult Tube Feeding Facebook Group  
She Got Guts Blog  
The Tube Fed Wife  
Singing Through the Rain 

Organizations  
Feeding Tube Awareness  
The Oley Foundation  
Inside Out Care  
Swallowing Disorder Foundation  
Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Associates 
Feeding Matters  
FirstStages Feeding Specialists 
Pediatric Feeding Association