Your child will likely need to see a number of different medical professionals. Here are some of the most common:
General Pediatrician: Your pediatrician will likely coordinate your child’s care, and may refer your child to other specialists. He or she may also deal with minor tube-related issues, such as stoma care or site infection, and may monitor your child’s growth and development.
Gastroenterologist: Your child will most likely see a GI doctor to help manage any GI conditions, including reflux, motility problems, and sometimes tube-related issues.
General Surgeon: Most children have their tubes placed by a surgeon. You will likely see the surgeon before the tube is placed, and one or more times after surgery to make sure the site is healing well.
GI or Surgery Nurse: In some hospitals, a GI or Surgery Nurse will be in charge of tube-related issues, including stoma or site issues, granulation tissue, and ordering supplies.
Interventional Radiologist: If your child has a GJ-tube, an interventional radiologist will likely be the person placing and replacing the tube.
Dietitian or Nutritionist: Most children benefit from seeing a dietitian or nutritionist to help determine appropriate feedings. It is especially important to see a dietitian if your child is trying to wean off the feeding tube, or if your child uses a homemade blenderized diet. Dietitians often know more about the range of choices for enteral nutrition.
Feeding Therapist: Your child may need to see a feeding therapist if he needs to work on learning to chew and swallow safely. This individual may be a Speech Language Pathologist or an Occupational Therapist. Feeding Therapists are also available through Early Intervention services for children from birth to age 3. Learn more about feeding therapy on our Feeding Therapy page.
Speech Language Pathologist: Your child may work on oral-motor skills, feeding skills, and chewing skills with a speech language pathologist.
Occupational Therapist: Your child may work on oral aversions, mouthing toys, and feeding skills with an occupational therapist.