Gastrostomy

When neither surgery nor a stent placement is possible, the doctor may insert a gastrostomy tube through the wall of the abdomen directly into the stomach by a very simple procedure.

The gastrostomy tube can relieve fluid and air build-up in the stomach and allow medications and liquids to be given directly into the stomach by pouring them down the tube.

A drainage bag with a valve may also be attached to the gastrostomy tube. When the valve is open, the patient may be able to eat or drink by mouth without any discomfort because the food drains directly into the bag. This gives the patient the experience of tasting the food and keeping the mouth moist.

Solid food should be avoided because it may block the tubing to the drainage bag.