In most cases, when a G-tube is no longer needed, it can simply be removed. The site will slowly close on its own over a period of about two weeks. Usually all that is needed is a bit of gauze to catch any initial leakage. Barrier cream can be used around the site to protect the skin from any leakage.
Sometimes, the stoma or site does not close easily on its own. This may be more likely to occur when a child has a G-tube for a long period of time, if the child has had lots of problems with the site, or if the child has certain medical conditions that make healing more difficult. In this case, a surgeon may surgically close the site in a short outpatient surgery.
Typically, doctors will wait for a period of 2 to 8 weeks before performing surgery to try to allow the site to close on its own. If leakage is substantial or the child’s skin is becoming severely irritated, call the doctor right away since surgery may need to be performed earlier. It may be wise to have a surgical consult at the time of removal to make sure a plan is in place.