Nasogastric and gastrostomy feeding in childhood cancer

Nasogastric and gastrostomy feeding in childhood cancer

Sometimes, if your child has lost a lot of weight or has not been eating very well for a period of time, they will need nasogastric feeding. A nasogastric feed can make it easier and less stressful for both you and your child to make sure enough is eaten. 

When might my child need nasogastric or gastrostomy feeding?

Sometimes, if a child has lost a lot of weight or has not been eating very well for a period of time, they will need nasogastric feeding. This is a method of slowly dripping a liquid nutritional formula through a soft polyurethane tube in the nose, leading to the stomach. It is often given as an overnight feed so that your child can eat in the normal way during the day. In this way extra nutrients are provided.

A nasogastric feed can make it easier and less stressful for both the parents and child in their efforts to make sure enough is eaten. Many parents describe nasogatric tube feeding as a very positive step in helping their child maintain a healthy weight. Medications may also be given through the tube. The tube is put in place in the ward by a nurse.

If nutritional formula feeding is needed for an extended period, a gastrostomy tube can be placed directly into the stomach through the abdominal wall and nutritional feeds given in the same way as a nasogastric nutritional feed. A gastrostomy tube is put in place by a surgeon in the operating theatre.

See:

Where to go for information and support

On this website:
Nutrition and childhood cancer
Childhood cancer: Where to go for more information and support

All the information in the Childhood cancer section of this website has been written by health professionals who work in the field of paediatric oncology. They have been reviewed by the members of the National Child Cancer Network (NZ). Medical information is authorised by the National Child Cancer Network Clinical Leader.

 

This page last reviewed 22 June 2013.
Email us your feedback


On this page