Skip to main content

Nasogastric Tube


A nasogastric (NG) tube is a long, thin, flexible tube inserted through your nose and down into your stomach or small intestine. You may be sent home with the tube in place in order to get the nutrition you need. Your tube will be removed by your healthcare provider when it is no longer needed.


Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • You suddenly start coughing and become short of breath.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You are vomiting.
  • Your tube comes out.

Call your doctor if:

  • You have redness or a sore where the tube enters your nose.
  • You have heartburn.
  • You have a fever.
  • Your tube is blocked and does not open with flushing.
  • You have stomach pain or bloating.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

NG tube care:

  • Wash your hands before and after touching the tube. You may be directed to wear gloves. This will help keep bacteria away from your tube.
  • Keep the outside tubing above the level of your stomach. This will help prevent fluid from backing up into your NG tube. Make sure the tube is pinned to your clothes. This helps prevent discomfort and pulling on the tube.
  • The tape that attaches the NG tube to your nose or cheek may need to be changed every day. The tape will also need to be changed if it gets wet or dirty. You will need to check the skin on your nose for any inflammation.
  • Placement of the tube will need to be checked several times during the day. Healthcare providers will teach you how to remove and test stomach fluid to confirm placement.
  • Your NG tube will need to be flushed before and after feedings or medicines are put in the tube. Your NG tube may also need to be flushed if the tube becomes blocked. Follow your healthcare provider's instructions on how to flush your tube.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2021 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.