The G tube surgery can be performed in three ways:
- surgically through small incisions using a laparoscope
- surgically using a larger open incision
- endoscopically using a scope into the stomach to create the stoma from the inside
The endoscopic method has become the method of choice at many hospitals; however, some institutions still place tubes surgically, and children with anatomic abnormalities or needing multiple procedures may require a surgical placement.
Hospital Stay and Recovery
Your child will likely only need to be in the hospital for a day or two, depending upon how well he tolerates his feeds after, as well as your familiarity with tube feeding. The stay will be longer if a Nissen fundoplication is also performed.
Some hospitals will give Tylenol for pain, some Tylenol with codeine, and some will give narcotics. It depends on the specifics of your child’s surgery and surgeon preference.
The nurses or someone from your DME supply company should train you on how to do everything before your child is discharged. Be sure to try everything yourself, and to ask lots of questions to make sure you are comfortable.
Your child’s tummy may be a little sensitive for a while, maybe up to a few weeks. But once the stoma has healed, your child should be able to do tummy time again with no problems.
What to Bring to the Hospital
- Small toys and DVDs. Nearly all hospitals will have access to some type of DVD player. Child Life staff will also have toys, games and DVDs available.
- Overnight diapers and wipes. Hospitals typically don’t carry overnight diapers. If your child needs them, make sure to bring them. Nurses will let you use overnight diapers as long as you have an extra one for them to weigh if they need to monitor output. Surprisingly enough, not all hospitals have wipes, and even if they do, they are usually poor quality. You may want to bring your own.
- Formula and medications. Contact the hospital in advance to find out if they stock your exact formula, as well as all your child’s medications. You may need to bring formula with you. Bring your own medications just in case.
- Pajamas and bedding. If your child has highly sensitive skin or severe allergies, consider bringing his or her own pajamas and bedding. Some children also prefer their own familiar items.
- Slippers and comfy clothing for you.
- Snacks or food for you. There should be a community fridge, or possibly one in your child’s room. You won’t always have time to run to the cafeteria.
- Something light to read. If your child is going to be sleeping a lot, you will need something to do. But you will likely be interrupted often by nurses or doctors checking in, so pick something easy.
- Additional Resources: Hospital 101: What I Wish I Knew the First Time from Feeding Raya