Tube fitting – an introduction
"Once I'd had it done, it was a case of 'what was all the worry about?'"
Knowing what to expect when you get your tube fitted can help in making your choice. The placement of a feeding tube involves a minor operation. It is typically done under sedation to help keep you relaxed, and there is no need for a general anaesthetic.
You may hear several terms used – PEG, PIG and RIG – but this just describes how the tube is placed. It is also sometimes known as a gastrostomy (see Key definitions). The procedure you have will depend on your local care team and your health at the time of the operation. They will offer you advice and detailed information on this as you consider your options
Your care team will advise you and your family/carers how to manage the tube after you’ve had it fitted. You will also be given training on the ward about using the tube before you are discharged home. Some people can manage it fine themselves; others may need more support, for example if they have a hand weakness.
If the person having the feeding tube placed is unable to manage the feeding themselves, their partner or family can be trained how to do this. If you live alone you may be supported by district nurses, or home carers. If you have concerns about how you will manage giving your feeds, discuss this with your care team before you have the tube fitted, so they can plan how best to support you.