Self-care in patients with gastrostomy.. placing a tube through the abdominal wall into the stomach to allow food to pass through

What is a gastrostomy?

A procedure that involves placing a tube through the abdominal wall into the stomach to allow food to pass through.


  • Decreased ability to take in nutrients through the mouth.
  • Polytrauma.
  • Neurological disorders.
  • Tumor or mass.
  • Burns.
  • Anorexia.
  • Intensive chemotherapy and secondary mucositis.

Types of gastrostomy:

There are different ways to perform the procedure. The doctor will make the most convenient for the patient according to their needs.
  • surgical route.
  • endoscopic approach.

Gastrostomy care:

- Daily cleaning:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Clean with water and gauze around the stoma. Then gauze dry the area 2 to 3 times a day, as needed.
  • Rotate the external retaining disk of the probe, this will avoid any type of skin injury.

- Probe wash:

- Before and after the administration of enteral nutrition or medications.

- Anti-reflux measures:

- Maintain a 30-45° position for administration of enteral nutrition.
- Schedule therapies before or one hour after the administration of enteral nutrition.

feeding techniques:

- Continuous infusion:

Nutrition is constantly administered to the patient for 24 hours. This feed is supplied by a feed pump.

- Bolus:

Multiple feedings are provided throughout the day. A feeding syringe or gravity drip bag can be used to administer this feeding.

feeding techniques:

Bolus feeding administration:


Prepare the formula at room temperature.


Wash probe with water.


Connect the probe to the syringe and pass the nutrition slowly (the height will define the force with which the food enters, this can happen from 30 minutes to 1 hour)


When feeding is finished remove the syringe and flush the tube with water.


Finally put the cap on the probe port.

warning signs:

  • Consult the emergency service in case of any of the following symptoms:
  • Obstruction of the tube.
  • Signs of feeding intolerance: Vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal distension.
  • Return of blood through the tube.
  • Balloon damage or accidental withdrawal of the gastrostomy tube.
  • Signs of stoma infection: Erythema, foul-smelling purulent discharge, local warmth.