What is the role of nasogastric tube feeding in the treatment of dysphagia?

Updated: Mar 20, 2020
  • Author: Nam-Jong Paik, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Elizabeth A Moberg-Wolff, MD  more...
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Answer

Nasogastric tube (NGT) feeding is a commonly used method of enteral feeding. In patients with a short-term life expectancy, nasogastric feeding is a more appropriate route for enteral nutrition. Insertion of an NGT is an easy, quick, relatively noninvasive procedure; it requires little training and is associated with negligible mortality. However, many patients find the NGT uncomfortable and repeatedly pull the tube out, which results in interrupted feeding and potential malnutrition.

Its prolonged use can lead to complications, such as lesions to the nasal wing, chronic sinusitis, gastroesophageal reflux, and aspiration pneumonia, although H2 blockers or proton-pump inhibitors given as prophylaxis can prevent some complications. [62]


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