G tubes: Balloon G tubes

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A balloon G tube is a type of feeding tube that has a balloon on the end to help prevent the tube from being accidentally pulled out. Learn how to care for your child’s balloon G tube and change it at home.

Key points

  • A balloon G tube is a type of feeding tube that has a balloon on the end that sits inside the stomach to prevent it from being pulled out.
  • A non low-profile balloon G tube extends further out of the stomach and has a disk on the outside to keep the tube from moving too far into the stomach.
  • A low-profile balloon G tube sits close to the skin and is easy to conceal.
  • Balloon G tubes should be changed at least every six to eight months to prevent the balloon from leaking or breaking, which can cause the G tube to accidentally fall out.
  • The G tube feeding extension set should be changed every month.
  • Whenever you change or re-insert a G tube, always check the pH of the fluids that come from the tube to make sure it is in the stomach before using it for feeds and medications.
  • You do not need to go to the emergency department if your child’s balloon is broken, blocked, or the tube accidentally falls out, and you are able to replace the tube or insert a Foley catheter.
  • You will only need to go the emergency department if you cannot insert a replacement tube or an emergency Foley catheter and there is nothing in the tract.
Last updated: September 6th 2023