Since we have been having challenges with Henry’s mic-key button falling out, I have been doing some research into what other options are available. As with most things, there are several different varieties, each with their own pro’s and con’s. And while one family loves a specific brand… another family hated it. While there are many varieties of feeding tubes available, I am only focusing on low profile “button” styles g-tubes.
Here is a summary of what I’ve learned so far…
Mic Key (This is what we currently have)
A “button” style feeding tube and uses a small oval shaped, air-filled balloon to keep it in place. It is surgically placed initially, and then changed at home (recommended every 3 months).
- can be changed at home by family.
- includes two types of extensions: a thinner, right angle tube and a wider “bolus” tube that can be used for thicker foods.
- Henry’s button has popped several times; and been pulled out once with the balloon still inflated.
- the extension tubes get stiff and discoloured quickly, making them harder to use.
- some people get very bad granulation tissue with this brand. Henry had this at first, but it resolved on its own after the first change. He still has some granulation tissue inside the hole that results in some “leakage”, but other than that it’s not a problem.
Very similar to the mic-key, but with a slightly lower profile. The extension tubes are thicker which can be nice with a blenderized formula. The balloon has a slightly different shape that may make it harder to fall out.
- can be put it at home by the family.
- interchangeable with the mic-key, so can be tested out and it’s ok to switch back
- the right angle tube is longer than the mic-key, which some families find helpful
- slightly lower profile
- apparently harder to put in the tubes as the connectors are different
A lower profile button that some families really like. It is surgically inserted, and stays in for one year or longer. It must be surgically changed, or done with conscious sedation. With an older child or adult, it may be changed while the person is awake, but it takes quite a while to change it and the person must stay still while it is done.
- is apparently less likely to fall out then the Mic Key button
- sits lower to the skin, so less noticeable and less likely to get caught on clothing or other items
- apparently only needs to be changed yearly
- typically needs to be changed surgically under general anesthetic
- lower profile than the Mic Key brand
- offered in two styles: balloon and non-balloon
- less pain when being put in
- not available in Canada!!!
As you see… they all look essentially the same! Oh… the joy of being parents. If only there was a one “best” option, but of course there isn’t. It’s just a matter of learning what you can… trying what you can… and taking a risk. We’ll see how this one turns out :).
All information included is purely based on our own experiences and from reading other blogs and company websites. Hope it’s helpful! If you know of another brand of g-tube, or have some experience with any of these ones… I’d love to hear about it.