Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:37 am
My child/spouse/parent is losing a lot of weight and the doctors say he/she needs a gastrostomy tube because his/her vital capacity is less than 50% of normal, and they are afraid of breathing complications if the gastrostomy is put off. Does he/she need one?
(Asked by a family member)
Re: Gastrostomy tubes
Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2015 1:38 am
No one needs a gastrostomy tube (G-tube) because of low vital capacity (VC). A G-tube is only needed when caloric intake is inadequate, which is best determined by counting the calories and monitoring weight.
G-tubes can be inserted at least 4 ways and 3 of them to not require the need for general anesthesia and airway intubation. No one should have a G-tube placed “early” to avoid future respiratory complications since they CAN be placed when needed without intubation by open gastrostomy, radiographically inserted gastrostomy, or percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) inserted via an oronasal interface, thereby eliminating the need for intubation.