Granulation tissue is typically red or pink soft tissue that appears bumpy or almost bubbly in nature. It is the body’s attempt to heal the tube site. It can bleed very easily and may grow quite rapidly. However, while granulation tissue may be bothersome, it is not dangerous.
Your doctor can use Silver Nitrate to cauterize (or remove) the tissue, or may prescribe steroid creams, such as Triamcinolone (Kenalog) ointment. There are several different strengths of Triamcinolone cream, so ask for a stronger version if the low strength does not work. Silver Nitrate chemically “burns” off the granulation tissue already there, but does not prevent it from growing back. Make sure to cover the unaffected tissue around the stoma with petroleum jelly or a barrier cream to prevent damaging the healthy skin. It is normal for the granulation tissue to look brown and quite awful after having Silver Nitrate applied.
Another option for treatment is GranuLotion, an over-the-counter product that many parents use to help treat granulation tissue. Home remedies that may help include Tea Tree Oil, Maalox or another antacid, Calmoseptine Ointment, or aloe vera (fresh or gel form).
Stabilizing tubes and extensions can help by reducing friction at the tube site. You can tape them to the stomach or create a tab that can be pinned to a diaper or clothing by folding the tape back onto itself.
Keeping the area dry is extremely important to prevent granulation tissue. At first the site may leak. But within 4-6 weeks, the leakage should diminish. Some families prefer to keep the tube site open to air, some use gauze under the button, and some use cloth tube pads. Using G-tube pads can also help reduce friction and absorb leaks to keep the area dry. Certain types of dressings, such as Mepilex, may also be helpful.
Have your doctor check the sizing of the feeding tube, as an incorrectly sized tube can make granulation tissue worse.