Gastric Tube Placement
A gastric tube (G-tube) is a flexible tube that is placed directly into the stomach through the skin of the abdomen. G-tubes are usually indicated for nutrition or release of air build-up due to obstruction. In Interventional Radiology, a percutaneous (through the skin) approach is used, using CT or fluoro and ultrasound guidance to access the stomach. A small catheter is inserted through the skin into the stomach and the hole gradually dilated, or enlarged, to accomadate the appropriate sized gastric tube. Moderate sedation is used to make the patient comfortable throughout the procedure. The procedure is generally very safe, but if you are taking blood thinners or are allergic to iodine, you will need to notify your physician prior to the procedure.
A G-J tube is a tube that enters via the stomach, but is longer and travels from the stomach into the small bowel. An existing G-J tube can usually be replaced using fluoroscopic guidance and the use of a small wire to thread the catheter into the correct position.