Foley tube (3004)

Key points below

for G-tubes and J-tubes

 What is a Foley tube?

This tube is a long type of catheter that is held in the stomach by a balloon.  It can be used for feedings if you were told to do so.  It can also be used as a drain.  It sometimes is used a short while until your child is able to have another type of feeding tube.

Why does my child have a Foley tube?

You and your child’s doctor decided this kind of feeding tube would be the best for your child at this time.   
If your child had a tube changed to a Foley tube, you will get more instructions on how to replace the Foley tube if it falls out.

Your child’s tube size is _______.

How do I care for the tube?

See the Caring for a Child with a Feeding Tube Notebook or go to

Information and videos on website:

Bolster dressings

A bolster dressing helps:

Change the bolster:

When changing the bolster, it is best to move it to a different spot on the belly.  This helps keep the tube from leaning on one side and making the opening larger.  This also protects the skin around the tube.

It may be easiest to plan the bolster change during your child’s bath time.  The site should still be cleaned every day.  Cleaning the site can be done without taking off the bolster.  
The tube should exit the skin and lay over the bolster dressing.  The tube should stay straight up from the tract so it does not lean.

Steps for making the bolster and securing tube

1. Get supplies ready.

2. Wash your hands with soap and water.

3. Make bolster.  You can make several of them up ahead to save time.  Put them in a plastic baggie.

4. Take off the old bolster dressing.

5. Clean the skin site if needed. 

6. Gently spin the tube in the tract.  This helps the stop the tube from sticking to the skin.

7. Gently pull back on the tube until the mushroom or water balloon is snug against the stomach wall.

8. Put the bolster on the skin next to the tube.  Do not put bolster in the same spot on the belly. 

9. While holding the tube straight up, lay the tube over the bolster and begin to secure.

10. Put one extra strip about 1 to 2 inches away from the bolster.  This is called a tension loop.

Problem: Leaking of formula or stomach juices at the site where tube is in the skin




Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if:

  • the tube is the first tube and it has fallen out.
  • the tube site is closing up.
  • your child has feeding problems such as vomiting or gagging.
  • you are not able to spin the tube in the tract.