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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
What do I need to know about a nasogastric tube?
A nasogastric (NG) tube is a long, thin, flexible tube inserted through your nose and down into your stomach or small intestine. The size of your NG tube will depend on why you need it. Larger NG tubes are used to remove air or fluid from your stomach. Smaller tubes are used to give you liquid food or medicines. Your tube will be removed by your healthcare provider when it is no longer needed.
What will happen during the procedure?
You will be asked to sit up. A healthcare provider will measure the length of the tube needed to reach your stomach. Lubricating jelly will be placed around the end of the tube to help it slide in more easily. The NG tube will be inserted into your nose, down your throat, and into your stomach. You will need to swallow several times and tilt your head forward to help the tube go down. The tube will be taped to your nose or cheek to keep it in place. Your healthcare provider will check for proper placement of the tube. You may need an x-ray to confirm placement of the tube.
What will happen after the procedure?
There may be a suction device or feeding pump connected to the end of the NG tube. Healthcare providers will check on the tube regularly to make sure it stays in place. The tube can stay in place for up to 8 weeks. You may be sent home with the tube in place in order to get the nutrition you need.
What are the risks of a NG tube?
You may develop a dry mouth or a nose infection. The NG tube may enter the wrong place, such as the lungs, and cause breathing problems. There may be bleeding, infection, or injury where the tube is passed through. The tube may move out of place.
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