What Is a Gastrostomy Tube?

Doctors often recommend placing a gastrostomy tube, also known as a feeding tube, in the stomach for a variety of conditions in which a patient is unable to take sufficient food by mouth. The tube allows them to receive medications or nutrients directly into the blood stream or gastrointestinal system, or for blood to be drawn.

Surgery was once required to insert a feeding tube, but today an interventional radiologist can perform the procedure. The doctor inserts the feeding tube into the stomach through a small nick in the skin using X-ray guidance.

What to Expect
Prior to appointments, Gwinnett Medical Center patients are asked to come in for routine lab work. It is preferred that patients have their lab work performed at Gwinnett Medical Center so the radiology nurses have access to the results. Our radiology nurses call each patient shortly after the procedure is scheduled to obtain a health history and provide instructions.

For most interventional radiology exams, patients need to arrive in admissions two hours before their scheduled procedure time on the day of the exam. Patients will check in at admissions before being taken to the Imaging Nursing Unit, where an interventional radiologist will come to talk with the patient before the procedure. The patient will then be prepped for the exam and taken to the Interventional Radiology Suite for the procedure. Following the procedure, the patient will return to the Imaging Nursing Unit for recovery. The recovery time varies based on the procedure. After the patient is then discharged, he or she will receive a follow-up call the next day.

Call 678-312-3444 to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Lawrenceville, Duluth or Hamilton Mill.