G tube troubles

My son is 3 and has been on g tube feeding for over a year now. He currently has a mic key button but has always had problems with it. He gets abcesses under his skin around the stoma that cause infections, his stoma is always raw looking and sometimes bleeds. Granulation tissue and a constant bruised look around it are problematic. His GI says he has seen this on occasion and recommends changing him to an AMT MINI non balloon button. Has anyone had this bad of a problem? Does anyone use the AMT MINI non balloon?

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Before changing to an AMT. I would try allowing your son to take long bath's with epson salt, & Tea Tree Oil, use a pool, or best of all take him to the ocean or some body of salt water. You can buy Tea Tree Oil at most health food store. DON'T buy the frangrance kind. Buy ONLY the ESSENTIAL OIL.

My daughter Nina tube looks the BEST during the Summer months when she swims allot in both pools and the Gulf of Mexico.

If I can be of any other help please feel free to E-mail me privately at: NinaBean@tampabay.rr.com


Lesley a/k/a NinaBean

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There are many recommendations for skin care around a g-tube on the Oley web site on the Tube Feeding Tips page posted at http://www.oley.org/tubetalks.html.

I would also recommend having an Enterostomal Nurse look at the stoma as well. They can be very helpful with skin care issues.

Finally, I have a skin care chart that may be helpful for you. I don't have an electronic copy, but if you email me your street address I'm happy to send one to you.

Roslyn Dahl
Oley Foundation Staff Member
(800) 776-OLEY

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Hi, Steph.

I totally agree with Lesley. You should try other things to keep the balloon. I have not had the AMT but would fight to keep from having it. From what I have read in researching it, taking it out sounds much like trying to line up a stick to pull it back up the track. And I have read personal reports of excrutiating pain.

Since I haven't had it, this is a subjective view. But I just want to be sure you have all the information you need before ever considering it.

In addition to what Lesley said (I also use tea tree essential oil), even after cleansing in the shower, I swab around my stoma with a mix of saline solution and peroxide. It has to be done as regularly and attentively as brushing teeth. I had a lot of trouble the first few months but eventually found my stride. When it comes to the routine maintenance, the best help often comes from other users/families.

Keep us posted and have a great day.

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Ha - I am the queen of mickey button problems! However, it's weird - I want another one down the road. I've had three and ever since I got my first one, I've had severe, life-threatening blood infections. The only source we could find - the mickey button. One surgeon (I moved so I had to find a different surgeon) said it was impossible for the tube to cause the infection. Needless to say, I found a new surgeon. My current surgeon said that the balloon could have worn down the mucosa inside the jejunum and that's how the infection got into the blood. Anyway, my tube was constantly oozing pus and foul-smelling gook. The granulation tissue is not a problem - that's just the body's way of trying to accept the tube and heal the skin around it. But I always had that as well. And that bled a lot too. But it was the pus that was the worst. I think your doctor is right about changing the tube. My tube is currently out and I have a Hickman for TPN around-the-clock. I will probably get another feeding tube down the road, but not a mickey button (I think they are coming up with a better product anyway - a different company).

Good luck!


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Well, I'm going out on a limb here, so go with me. If salt water works, which I've never tried, you could go to a pet store and by commercially available salt water mixes for use in aquariums. Add it to bath water, an d it would be similar to the ocean since it's designed to mimic the ocean.

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Thanks for all the suggestions. My son's grandmother lives in Hawaii and we spent the whole month of December there. The ocean was great but it didn't seem to help with the stoma issues. I'll try the tea tree oil and see how that works out. Thanks again.

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You might also try an anti-fungal powder. We use one everyday for our son's stoma. If we don't use it he will have a nasty looking raw red problem in just days obviously from yeast if the anti-fungal works. The one we like is Sween Micro-Guard. But you could start out by trying any powder for athlete's foot since its similar but perhaps not as strong.

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My two-year-old has had some problems with leakage and some resultant skin infections. Believe it or not, Aquaphor helped clear up his skin (though his problems don't sound nearly as severe as what you're dealing with).
More importantly, once my son's button was changed (we had to replace his g-j because it had become dislodged) it stopped leaking and he hasn't had problems since so I also wonder if you switched to a new mic-key if that would help.

All the best!


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Thanks for the idea, but we've changed it fairly often. Our DME company provides a new button once a month so they never really get old. For some reason his Gi thinks it has something to do with the balloon button.

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Quite often leaking and pain at the tube site can be caused by having a tube that is too long or short. It's particularly prevalent in children as they are constantly growing.
Before your next button change, ask to have the stoma measured; it's quick, easy and realtively pain less.

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My son had the exact same problem with the mic button. One thing that I found helpful from bleeding and tissue growing from around the area was putting gauze a little bit under the tube where the skin meets it. Another mom had told me to do this and I could tell a major difference with cleanliness as well as the extra tissue. So it could stay in place I would put a little bit of soft tape on the gauze. Hope that helps :)

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We use something similar to gauze for my daughter's g-tube. It can be expensive, but some insurances do cover it. It is called Calcium Alginate. From time to time the area around her g-tube will get very red and inflamed and this seems to calm it quickly unless there is too much leakage around the stoma. Dry is best for her.

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I know this topic is close to a year old but I wanted to give our experience. My son has had his gtube for 3yrs now and the first year was filled with infections. First he had the malecot(long tube) then the mic key then the amt mini balloon then back to the mic key. It is thought that the malecot being pulled partially out is what got his infections started. But he ended up with MRSA over and over in his gtube area. We had to take the button out and let the stoma heal which it didnt so they had to correct a fistula. Then months after that he got his Mic key back in. The one thing that has helped him stay infection free for the most part is gtube pads I found on the internet. They snap around the gtube and keep the leakage off the skin. If we do not do that he gets infections. Just wanted to pass this along.

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I am having similar problems. I have an AMT non balloon button in my jejunem. i have had no problems for approx 21 months, then I got an infection last month and was in the hosp for 3 days. Now i am having problems with the skin around the stoma, and I developed a rather large granulated tissue outside the tube. It does bleed every time it is touched and is quite sensitive. this tube works well, but since the infections, the skin is more sensitive, there is more drainage and now I have this granulated tissue. Also need some tips on how to clear this up, and whether the tissue will recede. Thanks so much

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