Banner image

Jejunostomy feeding tube

Feeding - jejunostomy tube; G-J tube; J-tube; Jejunum tube

Find

Learn More

Cleaning the Skin Around the J-tube

To clean the skin, you will need to change the bandages once a day or more if the area becomes wet or dirty.

The skin area should always be kept clean and dry. You will need:

  • Warm soapy water and a washcloth
  • Dry, clean towel
  • Plastic bag
  • Ointment or hydrogen peroxide (if your doctor recommends)
  • Q-tips

Follow these guidelines every day for good health and skin care:

  • Wash your hands well for a few minutes with soap and water.
  • Remove any dressings or bandages on the skin. Place them in the plastic bag, and throw the bag away.
  • Check the skin for redness, odor, pain, puss, or swelling. Make sure the stitches are still in place.
  • Use the clean towel or Q-tip to clean the skin around the J-tube 1 to 3 times a day with mild soap and water. Try to remove any drainage or crusting on the skin and tube. Be gentle. Dry the skin well with a clean towel.
  • If there is drainage, place a small piece of gauze under the disc around the tube.
  • DO NOT rotate the tube. This may cause it to become blocked.

Definition

A jejunostomy tube (J-tube) is a soft, plastic tube placed through the skin of the abdomen into the midsection of the small intestine. The tube delivers food and medicine until the person is healthy enough to eat by mouth.

You'll need to know how to care for the J-tube and the skin where the tube enters the body.

Follow any specific instructions your nurse gives you. Use the information below as a reminder of what to do.

Flushing the J-tube

To flush the J-tube, follow the instructions your nurse gave you. You will use the syringe to slowly push warm water into the side opening of the J-port.

You may rinse, dry, and reuse the syringe later.

Replacing the Dressings Around the Tube

You will need:

  • Gauze pads, dressings, or bandages
  • Tape

Your nurse will show you how to place the new bandages or gauze around the tube and tape it securely to the abdomen.

Usually, split gauze strips are slipped over the tube and taped down on all four sides. Tape the tube down as well.

DO NOT use creams, powders, or sprays near the site unless the nurse says it is OK.

What to Expect at Home

It is important to take good care of the skin around the tube to avoid getting an infection or skin irritation.

You will also learn how to change the dressing around the tube every day.

Make sure you keep the tube protected by taping it to the skin.

Your nurse may replace the tube every now and then.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your health care provider right away if any of the following occur:

  • The tube is pulled out
  • There is redness, swelling, smell, pus (unusual color) at the tube site
  • There is bleeding around the tube
  • The stitches are coming out
  • There is leaking around the tube
  • Skin or scarring is growing around the tube
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach is bloated

Review Date: 12/8/2016
Reviewed By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

ADAM QualityA.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org). URAC's accreditation program is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s editorial policy, editorial process and privacy policy. A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics and subscribes to the principles of the Health on the Net Foundation (www.hon.ch).

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 9-1-1 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only—they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-2010 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.