Low profile tubes (buttons)
Low profile tubes are also called buttons. They can go to the stomach (gastric button) or the stomach and intestines (gastrojejunal button) depending on what your child needs. The gastric button has one (1) opening (port) that goes to the stomach. The gastrojejunal button has 2 ports. One port goes to the stomach and the other port to the intestine (jejunum).
Low profile tubes (buttons) are close to the surface of the skin instead of sticking out like a tube. This makes them easier to cover with clothing and less likely to be pulled out. These tubes are held in place with a small balloon filled with sterile water. Doctors might place it during a gastrostomy, or the button might replace a mushroom tube or regular G-tube or GJ-tube. If the regular tube is replaced with a button, this is done 6–8 weeks after the first surgery.
To use a button, you connect a device to the ports. Your child can get feedings one (1) at a time or continuously through the gastric port. Only continuous feeds can be given through a jejunal port.
Your St. Jude team might teach you how to replace a button in case it gets pulled out by accident.
The doctor will probably stitch your child’s stomach to the wall of the belly during the gastrostomy procedure. The stitches are called retention sutures. They keep the tube from moving out of position if it gets pulled on by accident. Some doctors put the stitches inside the stomach, and other doctors put them on the belly. They look like small buttons on your child’s skin. The doctor might take out the stitches within 14 days or wait until they fall off. Special care should be taken when cleaning around the sutures. Please read “Do You Know… Skin Care and Dressings for Feeding Tube Sites.”
If the sutures do fall off, tell your St. Jude team.
To learn more about types of tubes or sutures or if you have questions, please talk to your child’s clinical nurse specialist.
This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.
St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.
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