Enteral tubes, also called feeding tubes, allow children who are unable to eat enough by mouth to safely receive the nutrition they need to grow. Feeding tubes can also help children receive critical medications that they are unable to swallow. There are a variety of different types of feeding tubes for children. The type of tube your child may have will depend on their medical condition and individual needs. Whatever type of feeding tube your child has, knowing what to expect at the time that it is inserted, and gaining education in how to care for your child and their tube afterward are the keys to feeling comfortable and using it successfully.
Our approach to feeding tubes
Many children at Boston Children’s Hospital use a variety of feeding tubes on a regular basis, both inside and outside of the hospital. The Boston Children’s Hospital Feeding Tube Service includes clinicians with expertise in many specialties, including gastroenterology, nutrition, radiology, and surgery. Together, our team can help you manage your child’s feeding tube. We help guide families through the care and use of feeding tubes so that your child can grow, develop, and participate in the same activities as they would without a tube. If and when your child no longer requires their feeding tube, we will work with you to transition to the next stage of their care.
Our areas of innovation
The clinicians in the Feeding Tube Service seek opportunities to improve care by reviewing patient outcomes, developing entirely new tools, and forming inventive strategies. These approaches have helped advanced the ways in which feeding tubes are used to enhance patients’ lives.