If you have a balloon retained, low-profile gastrostomy tube, like a MIC-KEY* G Feeding Tube, it’s possible that you may experience a tube dislodgement at some point in time. Whether the tube is accidentally pulled out or if the balloon loses water volume over time, we don’t want you to stress if a dislodgement occurs. Here are our tips for managing this issue:
- A stoma will begin to close quickly (within a few hours), so you’ll want to have a plan in place to take swift action. While this can be a traumatic experience, try to remain calm.
- Check the tube site for any issues, especially if the tube was pulled out aggressively. If there is blood and injury to the stoma, you should contact your doctor for further instructions.
- Complete a quick check to ensure the tube still functions. If the balloon still retains water and is without any holes, you can simply rinse off the tube and put it back in, as usual.
- If possible, keep a spare tube on hand at all times. If the balloon begins to leak, this may allow you to replace a tube without a trip to the doctor.
- If you do not have a replacement tube on hand, you can stick the broken tube back in the stoma and tape it into place to hold it open on the way to get a new one.
- If a tube falls out and is not noticed right away, you may not be able to get the device back in on your own. You can try by using a water-soluble lubricant, but you will likely need to contact your physician for help; you may even have to go to the ER.
- If you have a GJ or J feeding tube, you will not be able to replace the tube at home. That said, there may be things you can do—such as hold the stoma open with a G-tube—until you can have the proper tube replaced. We recommend creating a plan with your healthcare provider to prepare for this event.
If you’ve experienced losing a tube before, we want to hear your tips on our Facebook page!