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A Jejunostomy tube (J-tube) is a plastic feeding tube placed between the abdomen and the midsection of the small intestine. It gives an alternative way of feeding and giving medication to patients with decreased oral intake due to some health conditions or surgery and helps prevent malnutrition. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of using j-tubes.
1. Prevent weight loss: If you’re having a medical condition and can’t take enough calories and have poor health, this will lead to unplanned weight loss. J tube ensures your body gets all the calories needed to prevent weight loss.
2. Provide your body with all nutrients: J-tube is recommended if the body can’t get all the nutrients needed after eating. Tube feeding will provide all the nutrients the body needs on daily basis.
3. Improve energy and strength: Tube feeding ensures the body gets enough calories and proteins needed to give you enough energy. It will improve the muscle tone and physical strength of an individual.
4. Support the immune system: Poor nutrition can lead to a poor immune system. If you can’t pass food, fruits, and vegetables through your gut then J-tubes will help you get enough nutrients suitable for a strong immune system.
5. Improve the quality of life: Tube feeding is suitable for patients recovering from surgery or illness and they require long-term nutritional support to keep them alive and healthy.
6. Prevents aspiration pneumonia: J-tube is used on patients who have problems swallowing or are at risk of choking. It helps prevent food from going into the wrong pathway and causes lung infection resulting in aspiration pneumonia.
7. Reduce the risk of anesthesia: Placing a gastrostomy tube helps avoid the risk of anesthesia and wound healing after carrying surgical gastrostomy.
8. Easy to insert and remove: The j-tube can easily be inserted and removed once an individual gaining eating ability.
1. Cause discomfort: Using the J-tubes for the first time you may feel the discomfort of having it anchored in your abdomen.
2. Cause infection and swelling: When using the J-tube feeding mechanism, the stomach may not signal the body when it’s full and this may cause some fluid to flow to the lungs from the stomach causing infections and swelling of the body.
3. Pull out the tube: Sometimes an agitated patient can pull the feeding tube out of their body.
4. Not able to eat regular meals: Once the tube is put on you, it will only provide the nutrition the body needs but can’t be able to give you the taste and social benefit of a regular meal.
5. Cause edema: The tubes may supply more fluid and nutrition than what the body needs causing edema. The fluid can build up in the body cavity or tissue making it difficult to breathe.
6. Diarrhea: Feeding through the j-tubes can boost the amount of stool and this may result in diarrhea increasing the risk of bedsores and other infections.
7. Restricts movement: Having the tube inserted directly into your stomach may restrict your movement and sometimes you have to be sedated to stay still. The tube can easily fall out.
8. Irritation: You may experience irritation of the skin around the tube area and can also cause some infections.
9. Blocked tube: Poor maintenance of the tube may cause some feeding problems. The tube may become blocked.
10. Side effects: Using J-tubes can introduce a big change to your diet and this can have some effects on the body like stomach upsets, constipation, and wind or introduce back pains.