There are many different types of feeding tubes – with different entry and exit points, different sizes and different lengths. Your healthcare professional will decide on which tube would be more appropriate for you, but just because you have one type of tube does not mean that you can’t ask for a different type of tube that may be easier for you to look after and possibly more cosmetic – as long as it meets your health needs.
Nasogastric tube- through the nose into the stomach – usually for shorter term feeding. Routinely these tubes can be left in for a month if they do not become displaced, blocked or pulled out accidentally. You can be trained to replace this tube at home.
Nasojejunal tube – through the nose, through the stomach to the jejunum. If there is a risk of aspiration or your stomach is not working efficiently, the stomach can be bypassed and formula goes directly into the small bowel. NJ tubes will need to be placed in hospital
Gastrostomy tube – this goes through the abdominal wall directly into the stomach. The tube may be held in by a balloon in the stomach – if they have a balloon, you can be trained to change these tubes at home
There are many variations of the gastrostomy tubes – but some are low profile (eg Mickey, Kangaroo) and some are longer tubes (eg Corflo, MIC, Kangaroo)
Gastrojejunostomy – via the abdominal wall bypassing through the stomach and then through to the jejunum. There are many variations of these tubes – they may be held in place by a balloon in the stomach, or they may have a pigtail bend in them to keep them in place. Feeding directly into the jejunum is sometimes necessary due to a high risk of aspiration or the stomach is not working as it should. These tubes need to be placed in hospital. They can also be low profile tube if necessary (Mickey).