Jejunostomy feeding tube
A jejunostomy tube (J-tube) is a soft, plastic tube placed through the skin of the abdomen into the midsection of the small intestine. The tube delivers food and medicine until the person is healthy enough to eat by mouth.
You'll need to know how to care for the J-tube and the skin where the tube enters the body.
Follow any specific instructions your nurse gives you. Use the information below as a reminder of what to do.
Feeding - jejunostomy tube; G-J tube; J-tube; Jejunum tube
What to Expect at Home
It is important to take good care of the skin around the tube to avoid getting an infection or skin irritation.
You will also learn how to change the dressing around the tube every day.
Make sure you keep the tube protected by taping it to the skin.
Your nurse may replace the tube every now and then.
Cleaning the Skin Around the J-tube
To clean the skin, you will need to change the bandages once a day or more if the area becomes wet or dirty.
The skin area should always be kept clean and dry. You will need:
Follow these guidelines every day for good health and skin care:
Replacing the Dressings Around the Tube
You will need:
Your nurse will show you how to place the new bandages or gauze around the tube and tape it securely to the abdomen.
Usually, split gauze strips are slipped over the tube and taped down on all four sides. Tape the tube down as well.
DO NOT use creams, powders, or sprays near the site unless the nurse says it is OK.
Flushing the J-tube
To flush the J-tube, follow the instructions your nurse gave you. You will use the syringe to slowly push warm water into the side opening of the J-port.
You may rinse, dry, and reuse the syringe later.
When to Call the Doctor
Call your health care provider right away if any of the following occur:
Smith SF, Duell DJ, Martin BC, Gonzalez L, Aebersold M. Nutritional management and enteral intubation. In: Smith SF, Duell DJ, Martin BC, Gonzalez L, Aebersold M, eds. Clinical Nursing Skills: Basic to Advanced Skills. 9th ed. New York, NY: Pearson; 2016:chap 16.
Ziegler TR. Malnutrition, nutritional assessment, and nutritional support in adult hospitalized patients. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 217.
Review Date: 10/29/2018
Reviewed By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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