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Gastrostomy tube placement - series—Aftercare



The stomach and abdomen generally heals in 5 to 7 days. Moderate pain can be managed with medications. The patient will be fed intravenously (IV) for at least 24 hours. Feedings will begin when bowel sounds are heard. Feedings will start slowly with clear liquids and gradually be increased.

The patient/family will be taught:

  • how to care for the skin around the tube
  • signs and symptoms of infection
  • what to do if the tube is pulled out
  • signs and symptoms of tube blockage
  • how to empty (decompress) the stomach through the tube
  • how and what to feed through the gastrostomy tube
  • how to conceal the tube under clothing
  • what normal activities can be continued

Review Date 5/14/2014

Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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