G/GJ tubes: What to do if your child’s feeding tube moves

​​If your child’s G tube or GJ tube looks longer or shorter than normal, it may have moved out of position.

If the G tube has moved farther into the stomach or if the GJ tube has moved out of the small intestine and into the stomach, your child may experience:

  • vomiting
  • discomfort or pain
  • diarrhea
  • bloated stomach.

If any of these signs occur, contact your G or GJ tube specialist.

To prevent your child’s tube from moving:

  • always secure the tube in place with tape
  • mark the outside part of your child’s feeding tube where it meets the stoma.

How to mark your child's G-tube: 

  1. ​Wash your hands with soap and water
  2. Remove the tape securing the tube to the skin
  3. Pull back on the tube gently
  4. When you feel resistance, stop pulling. Push the tube into the stomach 1-2 cm. 
  5. Re-tape the tube to the skin and mark the tube where it meets the stoma. Use a permanent marker so it will not wash off with your daily soap and water cleaning.

(These instructions are for G tubes only. Do not do this with a GJ tube!)

You may also measure the length of the outside part of the feeding tube, from stoma to adaptor. Make sure to mark this number down somewhere you will remember.

If your child’s feeding tube has a balloon at the end of it (in the stomach end), check the amount of water in the balloon at least once a week; if there is less water in the balloon, the tube may be able to move slightly in the track. Use sterile or distilled water to refill the balloon.


Holly Norgrove, RN, BScN​