Providing Care and Support for Patients and Families

At the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital, our specialty nurses work with pediatric patients who have a gastrostomy tube (G-tube). Our team provides post-operative education and ongoing care to patients who have a G-tube.

The pediatric surgery advanced practice nurses (APNs) are available to answer questions about your child’s G-tube and help you with management. If you are having any difficulties or concerns with the G-tube, please call 773-702-6169 to speak to one of our APNs.

What is a G-tube?

  • A gastrostomy is a surgical opening (cut) in your child’s abdomen made for the placement of a gastrostomy tube.
  • A gastrostomy tube may be needed if your child cannot swallow or is not able to take enough food or fluids for good nutrition and growth. It can be used for feedings, fluids or medications.
  • A gastrostomy tube is also known as a G-tube or feeding tube.
  • A G-tube may be temporary or permanent, depending on your child’s needs.
  • G-tubes are changed every three months.
  • Regular, planned changes do not need to be done in the operating room. They can be done in the clinic by the APN or at home by a family member who has been shown how to change the tube.

About Gastrostomy Surgery

  • A pediatric surgeon will place your child’s G-tube in the operating room.
  • The G-tube is placed by making a small surgical opening in the abdomen and into the stomach.
  • The part of the G-tube that is placed in the stomach has a balloon on the end. The balloon is filled with a small amount of water after it is in placed in the stomach.
  • The balloon helps to keep the G-tube in place and helps to prevent leaking.
  • There are several different kinds of G-tubes. Your surgeon will choose the best type for your child. 

G-Tube Tip Sheets

G-Tube Care Instructions

Contact Our Pediatric Surgery APN Team

Nissen Fundoplication

Helpful G-Tube Resources for Parents and Caregivers

Feeding Matters
Hosts a parent-to-parent online forum to address questions and concerns about pediatric feeding disorders and tube feeding

Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation
Helps other parents by sharing practical experience tube-feeding infants and children and to raise positive awareness of tube feeding so that families have the support they need

The Oley Foundation
A national, independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that strives to enrich the lives of those living with home intravenous nutrition and tube feeding through education, advocacy, and networking; also serves as a resource for consumer’s families, clinicians and industry representatives, and other interested parties