Learning About Percutaneous Endoscopic Jejunostomy in Children

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What is it?

A percutaneous endoscopic jejunostomy is a procedure to make a small opening between the skin of your child's belly and the small intestine. A feeding tube is placed into the small intestine through the opening. This tube is used to help your child get the nutrition, liquid, and medicine that they need.

How is it done?

Your child will get medicine to go to sleep and prevent pain during the procedure.

The doctor will put a thin, lighted tube (scope) into your child's mouth. The scope will have a camera on it. The doctor will send puffs of air through the scope. This inflates the intestine. It helps the doctor see where to place the feeding tube.

The doctor will make a small cut (incision) in your child's belly. The doctor will put the feeding tube into your child's mouth and guide the tube down to your child's small intestine.

The doctor will pull one end of the feeding tube out of your child's belly through the incision. This end of the feeding tube will stay outside your child's body. The other end will stay in the intestine.

Why is it done?

Feeding tubes are used when a health problem makes it hard for your child to eat and get nutrition. A jejunostomy may be done when a child can't take in food, liquids, or medicines by mouth, and a feeding tube placed in the stomach is not an option.

What can you expect afterward?

Most children can go home on the day of the procedure or the day after. Your child may feel tired for several days after the procedure. Have your child rest as much as needed. Until the doctor says it's okay, your child should avoid lifting anything that would make your child strain. This may include things like a heavy milk container, a heavy backpack, or a medium-sized pet.

The doctor will give you instructions about how to use your child's feeding tube. They will cover what nutrition and fluids should be fed through the tube. If you need to give medicines through the tube, the doctor will give you instructions about how to do it. It may seem like a lot to remember at first. But with time and practice, using the feeding tube will get easier and you will be more comfortable.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/patientEd

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.