Tube feeding, also called enteral nutrition, is a way food can get into your body if you are unable to eat or unable to eat enough. Food in liquid form or formula is given through a tube into the stomach or small intestine.
Tubes can be placed in different places along the gastrointestinal tract:
- A nasogastric tube (NG tube) is a tube that is put up the nose and down into the stomach.
- A nasojejunal (NJ tube) is similar to an NG tube except that it is threaded through the stomach and into the jejunum, the middle section of the small intestine.
- In some cases, a Nasoduodenal (ND tube) may be placed into the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine.
- A gastrostomy (G tube), sometimes called a PEG, (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy) is placed in the stomach during a procedure. Some PEG’s have a tube always hanging out, and some replacement PEGs are flat (‘profile’, or ‘buttons’).
- A Gastrojejunal (GJ tube) or Transjejunal Tubes are very similar to G-tubes in that they enter the stomach directly through the skin using the same site or stoma as a G-tube. Most have two feeding ports, one into the stomach, and a second tube that extends into the small intestine.
- A Jejunal (J Tube) or Jejunostomy is placed in the middle part of the small intestine, called the jejunum, during surgery.
This information has been sourced from Queensland Health; for practical information about living with a feeding tube please download their resource Tube Feeding at Home.