I found this stuff called New Skin at the pharmacy (Rite Aid). Its for burns, has breathable hydro-gel, and is also in a sticky bandage form. If you slit it to the center as you would a piece of gauze, it works beautifully. It attaches itself to the stem part of the button, it breathes, it cools the burn from the stomach acid, and it heals, while stopping the leakage from oozing out. - M.C., Alameda, CA
My daughter has had a G-tube since birth. She now has the button, which is much better. Her tube has always given us a problem with leaking. I have tried gauze in many sizes and make-up sponges that are circular with the hole cut out of the middle. These have worked, but I have found that taking 2 pieces of toilet paper or ½ a piece of a tissue, rolling it up like a cigarette, and then wrapping it around the tube works very well. This can be replaced wherever and whenever needed. This has kept my daughter dry and very clean. Even her doctor has bragged about this idea and how great her site looks. - J.L.S., Cleveland, TN
When my son began continuous feeds through the night with a pump, I was worried about the tube wrapping around his leg or arm and the pump alarm going off all the time. Then, I came across an item that holds him in one position, yet he has room to turn and move in. Its called The Tucker Sling and it has been a life saver!! Their website shows pictures of the sling, and they have various sizes depending on the size of your child. - D.F., Modesto, CA
Our daughter had terrible granulation tissue before someone told us about eucalyptus oil. We now use it everyday and have no build-up around the tube. It will also bring down the tissue. It has to be diluted: 2 drops of oil to 10-20 ml. of water. I swab it around the tube area with Q-tips. You may want to test it on another area first to be sure there will not be an allergic reaction. For my daughter, it worked wonderfully. I know of lots of other parents who have also tried it and had very good results. No more silver nitrate burns! I would recommend trying it. The oil can be bought at health stores or off the Internet. - L.J., city and state unknown
My daughter has had a G-tube for about five years. Her nutrition is solely from her G-tube feeds. I use a creme around the site thats called Calmeseptine. It's fairly new on the market and works very well for that area. I put the creme on 3 times a day and then cover it each time with a 2 x 2 gauze. My daughter very rarely has any problems with granulation or infection by the G-tube site. - J.K., city and state unknown
To clean the G-tube, pour flat Coke/cola through the tube. It works wonders. Also to prevent leakage and skin irritation, use 4 x 4 tracheostomy drain sponges. They can be purchased at many drug stores. - D.T., Kenner, LA
We try to make our son's feeding bags last a few days, but to avoid bacterial growth, we refrigerate the bag between cleanings. Works for food, and for food bags! - K.H., Rockford, IL
My son had horrible problems with granulation tissue around his G-tube since the day it was placed. We were using silver nitrate every 2 to 4 days. We tried creams, antacids, Cholestin, and IV sponges, but none healed him. Someone told us about foam dressings. It worked! My son's G-tube site has been healed for the first time in 4 years! The brand name is called Hydrasorb. It is a foam dressing, and it absorbs any leakage and it cuts down on the scar tissue. It took about two months to fully heal while using this dressing, but his stomach is now dry and tight and the scar tissue has lessened. Try it! - D.M., Traverse City, MI
I have a 16 year old daughter who has cerebral palsy, is non-verbal and is G-tube fed. I have found from my life experience that there are not a lot of products on the market to help with different situations. So I have taken in hand, marketing different products to help. One is called the "GT Pad." I use to spend approximately $150 Canadian per year on gauze for her site, not including the prescriptions to help clear up problems. I have been using "GT Pads" for 4 years and am very happy with them and the money I have saved. I have found ten pads can last up to two years. - J.G., Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada
We've found that, in addition to putting a 2"x2" split sponge between the skin and the button, using Silvadene cream regularly is the most effective way to keep the site mostly irritation-free.
Also, the best tape ever to hold the gauze against the skin (or an NG-tube to the cheek, or a nasal cannula) is Hypafix dressing retention sheet tape. The adhesive is very sticky, but doesn't hurt when pulled off, and it's hypoallergenic. The fabric is pliable and doesn't poke and it does need scissors to be cut. Most hospitals don't know about it, so you should ask for it to be ordered.
Bolus-feeding: when my son needed to be bolus-fed or vented with a 60cc barrel, we attached velcro to the barrel, and the corresponding piece to his feeding chair. For travel, we attached the corresponding piece to his car seat and his stroller. - L.S., Altadena, CA
My daughter, Marissa, has a G-tube and we have gone through the same horrors of granulation tissue as a lot of you. Marissa just recently had to have surgery to remove this tissue as the silver nitrate did not help. I received a good tip from a friend of mine on the G-tube network: simply place a makeup square or round under the tube. I have to cut a slit in it, but it fits great under the "peg." It was tried by many and seems to work miracles with preventing the tissue from growing back. - T.S., Glens Falls, NY
My daughter is 2 ½ years old. She has been on continuous feeds since she was 13 months old. I found a great way to keep her G-tube from coming out at night and at play. Take the tube and snake it through her diaper. Make sure to leave enough slack between her diaper and the button. To do this before I really had the system down, I would stand her up. The best diapers to use are the cheap ones with the tape; the Velcro ones don't keep the tube in place as well. - Initials, city and state unknown
Silver nitrate is needed for our child to keep granuloma in check. However, we find the nitrate can discolor and irritate the adjacent skin. Petroleum jelly or other such substance (we use an anti-bacterial jelly called Bactraban) can help protect this area of the skin surrounding the tube site. What also helps is to keep our daughter flat for awhile after application of the silver nitrate. My understanding is that the nitrate reduces the granuloma a bit, which may permit gastric oozing, causing the nitrate stains. - J.D., Haverford, PA
My son had a G-tube for years before I figured out the best way to clean the connector tubing. All you need is water and a table knife. WHILE YOU ARE RUNNING WATER THROUGH THE TUBE, hold the tube between your thumb and the dull side of a table knife, and act as if you were curling a ribbon on a birthday present. Press the tube hard between your thumb and the knife and run the knife/thumb the full length of the tube, in the direction that the water is flowing. The pressure of the "ribbon curling" action will loosen all the gunk, and the water carries it away. It takes 10 seconds, and it works on all tubes, even tubes too small for a pipe cleaner. This method also unblocks plugged tubes. - D.M., Traverse City, MI
To keep tubing from crimping at night due to rolling, I took an old toddler size sock, cut off the toe end, feed the tubing thru it and put it on his leg. This keeps the tubing in a general area and stops it from crimping. I have also heard of using a wrist sweatband. - T.H., Hilliard, OH
I stumbled on this site after my son's G-tube was removed, but kept the address. It is a great site for new or old G-tube users or people dealing with a loved one that has one: www.iinet.com.au/~scarffam/gtube.html. As far as traveling with my son, who by the way was a continuous G-tube feeder, it was very difficult until I got the hang of it. I made a hook out of a coat hanger for the bag to hang on and put it on the handle above the door with the pump on the floor. After stabilizing the pump, we were ready to ride. It is a process that takes practice getting from the house to the car and back again, but it can be done. I got tired of being home thinking I needed someone to help us go some place - being dependent on someone else's schedule. So, I experimented when I did have help, just in case I needed an extra hand to figure it out. Now, my son is fed by mouth only, and the G-tube was removed in December '98. Everyone isn't as lucky as we are, but if I can help one person out there with our quirky ways of doing things, I have accomplished more than I realize. - C.M., city and state unknown
Try putting a coat of clear nail polish over the numbers on a syringe to prevent them from washing off. - R.B., Calgary, Canada
For those of you crushing vitamins, I have a better solution. I crushed them for years until one day I decided to try placing the vitamin in a little medicine cup and adding about 10cc of water. The next morning, the vitamin is dissolved and needs no crushing. - J.P., city unknown, SC
My seven year old with HD used to have a G-tube, but this was replaced by a button (which is heaven sent). The button is so much easier than the tube and there is no bulk. It is pretty much flush with the skin. We do have a problem with the button leaking though. We use split two by twos to put under the button (2 packages). This makes the button a little tighter and helps to control leaking. I put a piece of tape across the gauze to keep the button closed during the day. - Initials, city and state unknown
For granulation tissue around the G-tube site, our doctor has prescribed Carafate suspension. We use a Q-tip to dab this on 2-3 times a day; this works really well. We also clean the site with normal saline (not the kind used for irrigation, but the kind used for cleaning) which is available over-the-counter in a large bottle (which lasts a long time). My 16 year old son has had a G-tube for about 9 years, so we have tried many remedies, but these work the best for us. There is also a very good multi-vitamin available in liquid form that we have used for years. It is Vi-Daylin, and is over-the-counter, but the pharmacy usually has to order it in. - B.S., Opelika, AL
I have found that using gauze around the G-tube works well to prevent irritation and granulation tissue as well. To avoid having to have scissors handy to make the ½ cut, I found that 2x2 I.V. split gauze works great! - C.C., Milwaukee, WI
For those who don't want to go through all the hassles of crushing vitamins, we have found that Shaklee makes a water soluble vitamin powder, called Vita-Lea. It dissolves readily and stays in suspension pretty well. The directions suggest mixing a teaspoon with several ounces of water, which can be a lot of additional fluids to administer. We use a smaller amount of water to mix the vitamins, and follow each syringe-ful with a plain water chaser, to keep the tube clear. - B.R., Forestville, CA
Our son is G-tube fed and has had lots of trouble with granulated tissue. We tried everything - cortisone cream, Destin (allergic) and silver nitrate - but nothing seemed to work. We started putting 2x2 gauze, cut in the middle, with Maalox on the area around the tube. By cutting the gauze, you can fit it around the tube next to the skin. This will leave the G-tube site open to connect to the pump. He has not had anymore granulated tissue. This is easy for us and painless for him. At the first sign of irritation, we get the Maalox out. - R.H., Cookeville, TN
When mixing medications for G-tube use, dilute the medication with a small amount of fairly warm water and when the medication is dissolved enough, add a small amount of cool water to make it a comfortable temperature. Most medications will dissolve well this way. - L.A., Colts Neck, NJ
To clean the extension sets for G-tubes, use extra-long pipe cleaners and hot soapy water. The long pipe cleaners can be bought in craft supply stores and work really well to remove the build up from inside the tube. - M.O., Ontario, Canada
A caution on the use of cortisone cream to treat granulation tissue: cortisone should only be used on an "off-again, on-again" basis, as it is a steroid, and can, over time, cause the skin to become thin and weak. Used three days on, three days off is reasonable. Used only on an "as-needed" basis is best. It is also great to combine cortisone cream with an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment (e.g., Bacitracin) and an antifungal cream (e.g., Lotrimin). This triple-combination approximates a commercial product called Kenalog cream (triamcinolone), which is popularly recommended by many parents on the G-tube mailing list. - S.G., Sudbury, MA
My daughter, who is G-tube fed, needs to take a multivitamin with minerals. The best ones I have found are the Bugs Bunny brand. They are sugar free and crush much easier than the others I have tried. Another plus is that they are cheaper and a child under 4 only has to take ½ of one instead of a whole one! - J.J., Denton, MD
I use the wooden end of the long Q-tips to clean the extension tube to my son's G-tube. I just put in a drop of soap and then rinse well. Also, once a week, I soak it in 1/2 strength vinegar and then wash. - T.H., Hilliard, OH
Our son has a G-tube and has had problems with granulation tissue. I have found that cortisone cream shrinks the granulation tissue, and Desitin heals the irritation. Works wonders for us. - D.B., Dubuque, IA
For those of you who need to crush pills to put in a G-tube, I highly recommend a syringe by Nestle called the HandiCrush. You place the pill in the crusher and put in the plunger. One turn and the pills are crushed. Then, you suck up water or whatever to mix it. No more trying to get a little bit out of the medicine cup. - T.R., Dickinson, ND
Our daughter has a G-Button that continually leaks due to granulation tissue. We have tried silver-nitrate and that didn't seem to help. So we took a disposable nursing pad and folded it into fourths and cut the corner off, leaving a hole in the center. We then cut two vertical lines opposite of each other. We clean her button, dry it, and put Desitin under it. Then we gently ease the nursing pad over the button and underneath it. It collects all of the moisture and draws it away from her skin. It stays in place all day or night. I am pleased to say, the granulation tissue has all but disappeared on its own! - K.T., Avon, IN
Recently, we took our 15 month old daughter, who is G-tube fed, on a trip to Australia to visit her grandparents. She gets a bolus feeding every few hours, so we have to take her tube and syringe with us, whenever we venture out. I had tried wrapping them in paper towels and putting them in her diaper bag. They usually ended up unwrapped and at the bottom of the bag or worse yet, on the ground, after we had rummaged through the bag a few times - yuck! We found a travel case in K-mart for a toothbrush and toothpaste that fit perfectly. If you detach the tube from the syringe, they lay on top of one another! Now you have a wonderful G-Tube travel case. - K.T., Avon, IN
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