When babies and children are unable to eat an adequate amount by mouth, doctors sometimes use a gastrostomy tube. The G-tube, as it’s also known, is surgically implanted in your child’s abdomen so that it can deliver liquid nutrition directly to your child’s stomach. For infants, the tube can be used to deliver formula or breast milk; in older children, it can be used to deliver commercial nutritional formula (such as Pediasure) or a blended food you make at home.

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G-tubes are sometimes used with children who have feeding disorders or who are experiencing poor weight gain or weight loss. Infants who have trouble eating after heart surgery or other major surgeries might also need a G-tube temporarily. Doctors will remove the tube once your child is able to eat sufficiently by mouth.

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