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Anyone have/had a j-tube?

Posts: 23
Joined: Jun 2010

My dad will be having a j-tube placement on Monday so I've started to research how it all works. I have a basic idea about where the tube is inserted. I'm just wondering about the length of the surgery, hospital stay, etc. Our pre-op appointment is on Friday but I like to come to appointments prepared to ask good questions. If any of you have had a j-tube, what specific questions/concerns should I raise with the surgeon?

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unclaw2002's picture
Posts: 664
Joined: Jan 2010


Great decision and good luck. While they may be problems with the J-tube, irritation, redness, small level of discomfort etc - please understand that I don't intend to minimize the side-effects or problems, but I can say that I would endorse getting a j-tube inserted before the patient has eating problems.

My dad finally got a J-tube after two stents fell into his stomach and the process and subsequent surgeries almost killed him. I am thankful we now have a way to make sure he can get nutrition even if his Esophagous closes up again or it becomes to painful to swallow. Believe me you and you father do not want to go through not being able to eat or drink and not having any way to get nutrition and then needing surgery when you are weak.

I would request that the doctor provides a prescription for home health care professionals when he gets home for several weeks to check on the J-tube and to make sure everyone at home knows what to do and how to troubleshoot problems --- that will be helpful and should relieve some anxiety about the process.


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K_ann1015's picture
Posts: 555
Joined: Aug 2009

my dad's j-tube was inserted during his surgery, although I really wanted it put in sooner. For some reason his dr's didn't want to do that. But the thing I wanted to share is that my mom said it was not hard to take care of, but she was regimented on the flushing it regularly as she was instructed (I can't remember how often though) to keep it form clogging. The tube is narrow, so this can be a problem. She also kept the site clean. He on;y had it for 3 months I believe.

Good idea to come prepared with good questions!

Donna70's picture
Posts: 921
Joined: Aug 2009

I had a j tube for 3 months and I would encourage you to ask a lot of questions. My drs did not want me to put any other thing in mine except for the nutrition fluid. Mine was inserted during surgery and in one week I was still in the hospital it clogged and I had to go down to radiology and have it removed and another inserted, not something you want to do post op. I think it depends on the diameter about putting anything else in it. As everyone says flushing is very important and also helps with hydration. I did my feedings at night with a pump but never had the portable one. It is not hard to maintain but you can get infections etc and also draining. I found if I drank fluids too fast they just leaked out. Also wound nurses can help with problems with breakdown of tissue etc. David White comes on this board and he has had a j tube since 2006 to maintain his nutrition and he was a big help to me. take care and this is the best thing for your father. Kim they did not insert a j tube before surgery because of the danger of starting an infection in the surgical area. I wanted one before surgery and they decided on an NG tube instead. take care, prayers always,

timp's picture
Posts: 14
Joined: May 2010


You have received lots of good advice in previous posts. I will just add a bit on clogs. The first time my wife's J-tube became clogged, I really panicked. We had visions of having to go to the hospital and having it replaced. Not a happy prospect since she spent three days in the hospital when she had it put in. But the surgeon said to try to put a little Coke thru the tube! So we tried that. At first nothing happened, but I kept trying a little more every 30 minutes or so, and after about 2 hours the clog gave way and we were back in business. So best is to not get a clog, but if you do, try some trusty Coke to clear things up.


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