In to the hospital with the Mic-key… out with the Nutriport!
We met with Christine today, the g-tube nurse at BC Children’s Hospital. As we have been having some challenges with Henry’s tube falling out, I phoned her to see if she could offer any advice. After measuring Henry’s tube to ensure it was still the right size (as he grows, the button will need to grow with him), we chatted briefly about what other things might be an issue…
- if the balloon is too big it might be sticking out of the hole (stoma) too far and be rubbing
- if the balloon is too small, then it might be rubbing on the inside and cause the rubber of the balloon to wear down
- Henry’s button is still the correct size… 14 Fr, 1.5 cm.
- Medication: this is the always the first thing people ask about. Some medications can degrade the rubber on the balloon. Not an issue with Henry as he gets no regular medications through his tube
- Oils: Some foods, specifically some cooking oils can apparently be hard on the balloon. This one may be an issue that I’ll need to look into more.
- Stomach ph: a very acidic stomach can be hard on the button. Someone may have a high stomach ph due to foods, medications, feeding schedule, or due to some medical conditions. I don’t think this is too much of an issue with Henry, as the foods that he eats are typically quite bland. We don’t add any spices, etc… it’s the foods in their natural form. And as Henry still throws up sometimes, I don’t experiment too much with different foods.
In the end we decided to try out another brand of g-tube, to see if this might work better. There are several brands of g-tube available, and I’d done some research beforehand so I could be as prepared as possible. We decided to try the Nutriport brand for several very practical reasons:
- We can try the Nutriport with no need for surgery or any other doctor involvement. It is inserted the same as the g-tube and we can do it at home. If we decide we want to go back to the mic-key, it’s no problem and we can do it ourselves.
- The balloon shape is slightly different: the top of the balloon looks slightly “flatter”… more of a barrel shape (the mic-key is more beach ball shaped). This flatter top apparently helps it stay in better for some kids.
- We didn’t want to try to BARD yet as it has to be inserted surgically. Henry’s button isn’t falling out that much that we want to go this route yet.
- Unfortunately the AMT isn’t available in Canada – there are no Canadian suppliers. So if we wanted to try it we would have to go to the States and we wouldn’t have any local support.
- and the final reason… Christine had one Nutriport in stock, so we could try it out right away and see how we like it!
So that’s what we’re doing. Henry has a Nutriport in right now and we’re going to try it for the weekend. If it’s ok, then we’ll leave it in for the 3 months and see how we like it. At Henry’s next routine change, we can either continue with the Nutriport or return to the mic-key. It’s only been a few hours, so it’s still new and already there are some pros and cons. I’ll keep recording how we like it and do another post in a few days.