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Gastrostomy Tube

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Updated April 16, 2009

Definition: A gastrostomy tube is a tube that is placed through the skin and into the stomach. A gastrostomy tube is a feeding tube that can be left in place for long periods of time.

Premature babies may have gastrostomy tubes inserted if they are unable to take breast milk or formula by mouth. Infants who have heart trouble, require long-term mechanical ventilation, have conditions causing malformations of the mouth or esophagus, or are too weak to suck and swallow effectively may have gastrostomy tubes inserted.

Also Known As: G-tube, GT
Examples:
Doctors inserted a gastrostomy tube because they knew it would be several months before the baby would be able to start taking food by mouth.
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