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Reasons for Procedure
- Blood clots
- Skin irritation around the stoma from leaking digestive fluids
- Intestinal obstruction
- Hernia the at surgical site
- Blockage or leakage of the tube, requiring replacement
- Adverse reaction to the anesthesia
- Bleeding or clotting disorders
- Active infection
- Lung or heart disease
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, like:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin
- Blood thinners
- Anti-platelet medication
- Your intestines will be cleaned with a special solution.
- Your doctor will talk to you about the physical and emotional difficulties that you will face after this surgery.
Description of the Procedure
- Open procedure, which uses an abdominal incision
- Laparoscopic procedure, which uses several small incisions
How Long Will It Take?
- 30-45 minutes to insert the tube
- 2-4 hours if sections of the intestine need to be removed
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- You may need antibiotics. You may also need medicine for nausea and pain.
- If you had an enterostomy to help fecal matter exit the bowels, you may have a pouch on the outside of your body. Waste material will be collected in it. You will receive instructions about diet and activity. During the first few days after surgery, you may be restricted from eating.
- The staff will monitor your fluid intake and output to help you avoid dehydration.
- You will wear boots or special socks to help prevent blood clots.
- You will be asked to walk often after surgery.
- You may be asked to use an incentive spirometer, to breathe deeply, and to cough frequently. This will improve lung function.
- Your incision will be examined often for signs of infection.
- You will need to practice good skin care of the area around the stoma. This will help to prevent infection.
- Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
- You will need to rest for 1-2 months.
- You will be taught how to care for the stoma site and change the ostomy bag if you have one.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
Call Your Doctor
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the stoma site
- Pus or yellow/green discharge from the incision
- Nausea and/or vomiting that you cannot control with the medicines you were given after surgery, or which persist for more than two days after discharge from the hospital
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Severe abdominal pain
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Pain and/or swelling in your feet, calves, or legs
- Pain, burning, urgency, frequency of urination, or blood in the urine
- Blood in your stool, or black, tarry stools
- If you had a feeding tube placed, food cannot pass through the tube
- The tube comes out or leaks
- If you had an ostomy bag placed, and there is no stool collecting in the bag.
American Academy of Family Physicians http://familydoctor.org
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov
Canadian Association of Gastroenterology http://www.cag-acg.org
Canadian Digestive Health Foundation http://www.cdhf.ca
Gastroenterology urology devices. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfCFR/CFRSearch.cfm?FR=876.5980. Published April 1, 2010. Accessed May 23, 2013.
Shellito PC, Malt RA. Tube gastrostomy. Techniques and complications. Ann Surg. 1985;201:180-185.
Torosian MH, Rombeau JL. Feeding by tube enterostomy. Surg Gynecol Obstet. 1980;150:918-927.
6/3/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us: Mills E, Eyawo O, et al. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.
- Reviewer: Daus Mahnke, MD; Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 05/2013 -
- Update Date: 03/18/2013 -