Today my feeding tube was removed. Removed sounds painless, but that does not describe what happened.
I’m not sure if I explained how the feeding tube was placed in my stomach. So let me explain. First, they put me under anesthesia. Then they put a scope down my throat to my stomach. After finding a suitable location, they punched a hole through my stomach and through my skin a few inches above my belly button. Then a “string” was used to pull the feeding tube down my throat to my stomach and out through the hole in my skin.
At the end of the feeding tube in my stomach is a small, mushroom-shaped inflated “balloon” that kept the tube inside my stomach. For nearly two months, that “balloon” did it’s job of keeping one end of the feeding tube inside my stomach.
So how do you remove this type of feeding tube? Actually, it’s pretty straight forward – you just pull it out!
Yep, that’s what they did. A little numbing fluid on the skin, and then pull it out!
The mushroom-shaped “balloon” collapses under the pressure of being extracted.
The doctor warned me that it would hurt for a few seconds. She was partially correct – it did hurt. But it hurt for more that a few seconds. Since the doctor required two “yanks” before the tube escaped my stomach, I’m sure that explains why the pain lasted several minutes.
So what did they do to the hole in my stomach? Nothing. What about the hole in my skin? Taped some gauze over the hole – no stitches required!
In a few days, the hole will heal and there will only be a small scar to remind me of my feeding tube experience.
The feeding tube was very important to my recovery process and I’m grateful, but I’m glad that it’s gone!