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Valarie
Valarie, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1228
Experience:  36+ yrs exprience medical, surgical, wound/skin care, nutrition, geriatrics, rehab, management
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DECOMPRESSION..OVARIAN CANCER..VERY LITTLE DISCHARGE WHICH PROMPS ME

Customer Question

HELLO: I HAVE A PEG TUBE USED ONLY FOR DECOMPRESSION AND DISCHARGE. I HAVE OVARIAN CANCER AND A BLOCKED BOWEL. THE TUBE USUALLY WORKS WELL BUT THERE ARE TIMES WHEN THERE IS VERY LITTLE DISCHARGE WHICH PROMPS ME TO VOMIT MORE. WE DO FLUSH THE TUBE BUT IT SEMS THAT CERTAIN TIMES IT JUST DOESNT DISCHARGE AS I WOULD EXPECT? I ONLY "EAT "COMFORT FOODS" AND AM NOT FED THROUGH THE TUBE. ANY ADVICE?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Valarie replied 7 years ago.
HiCustomer

PEG tubes are notorius for getting clogged, and if you are using it to drain secretions from the GI tract I would expect it to clog more easily.

My suggestions:
  1. Flush the tube more frequently, even using smaller amounts of whatever you flush with if you are concerned about the amount of liquid you are taking. Water should be fine, warm (NOT hot) works better.
  2. You should be flushing before and after draining secretions to keep the tube clear. Also, you should flush after eating.
  3. Check with your physician about any other kind of fluid that can be used with the tube to flush it.
  4. Keep in mind that because PEG tubes sit inside the GI tract and are exposed to lots of enzymes and acids, they tend to wear out easily. You just might need a change of tube. Regularly changing the tube can prevent this. Or, just let your physician know when it is not draining properly and that it may need a change. Some tubes are more hardy than others, depending on what it's made of.
  5. It is not a good idea to use a foley catheter (normally used for urinary bladder drainage) because these wear out very quickly. PEG tubes are made to withstand more abuse.
Hope this helps. Let me know if you have questions.
Take care.