Enteral Tube Program
Planned Removal of a Gastrostomy Tube (g-tube)
You may decide to remove your child’s g-tube after talking with your child and your child’s GI doctor. In most cases, a g-tube should not be removed unless your child has not needed to use the g-tube for any reason (formula, fluid, or medicine) for at least 6 months.
How is a PEG tube removed?
There are two ways to remove a PEG tube. Both are performed in the gastroenterology procedure unit (GPU) or operating room by a GI doctor. Your child’s GI doctor will talk about both options with you and your child, as well as the risks and benefits of each method.
- Endoscopic removal: Your child will be put to sleep by an anesthesiologist for the removal. Once your child is asleep, the GI doctor will use an endoscope (long, thin, bendable tube with a camera at the end) to remove the PEG tube from the inside of the stomach. Once the removal is complete, Vaseline gauze will be placed over the stoma and then covered with a dressing.
Percutaneous removal: Your child will not need to be put to sleep by an anesthesiologist. Your child will need to lay on his/her back, and then the PEG tube will be cut. Cutting the tube will let the air out of the internal disk or “bolster.” The bolster will shrink and then can be removed through the stoma. This procedure usually causes some temporary pain and discomfort at the stoma site. Once the removal is complete, Vaseline gauze will be placed over the stoma and then covered with a dressing. Your child may need to have an x-ray before going home.
How is a MIC-KEY™ or MIC-G™ g-tube removed?
MIC-KEY™ and MIC-G™ g-tubes are usually removed in the GI clinic. The water will be removed from the balloon with a syringe, and then the g-tube will be removed from the stomach. Once the tube is removed, a gauze dressing will be taped over the stoma. This dressing should stay in place for 24 hours before it is removed.
How do I care for the stoma site after the g-tube is removed?
- The dressing should stay in place for at least 24 hours or until the leaking has significantly slowed down.
- Change the dressing as needed if it is wet and not sticking.
- Your child may take a bath or shower as usual.
- Most stoma sites close on their own within 2 weeks after the g-tube is removed. The site may continue to have some drainage. Call your child’s GI doctor if the stoma continues to leak for more than 4 weeks after the g-tube is removed.
Who can I call if I have questions?
Please call the GI office (617) 355-6058 if you have questions or concerns. Our GI nurses can help you with all types of PEG tube questions:
- Monday–Friday, 8:00am–4:30pm, a nurse in the GI clinic will be available to help you.
Weekdays after 4:30pm, Weekends, and Holidays, you can use the same number to reach a GI doctor on-call for urgent questions or emergencies.
If your child is followed by General Surgery:
Call the General Surgery outpatient nurses at (617) 355-7716 or (617) 355-7704.
- Monday–Friday, 8:30am–5:00pm
Call the Children’s Hospital page operator at (617) 355-6369 and ask for the General Surgery Senior Resident on-call.
- Weeknights, 5:00pm–8:30am, Weekends, or Holidays