What is Enteral Feeding?

Enteral feeding is required when a patient has a functioning gastrointestinal (GI) tract but cannot get enough nutrients by mouth and becomes at risk for malnutrition.

A number of diseases and medical conditions, and sometimes their treatment, can lead to inadequate nutrition and the need for enteral feeding. Among them are GI disease, cancer and its treatment, neurological disease, and failure to thrive.

It’s Another Healthful Way to Eat

People whose digestive system “works” but who can’t get enough, or any, nourishment by mouth must use another healthful way to eat. Enteral feeding can make a vital difference by helping them stay nutritionally healthy and maintain a higher level of physical activity if desired.

With enteral feeding, liquid nourishment (and medication, when needed) is delivered by a tube surgically inserted into the stomach, intestine, or, for some patients, both. For feeding, the tube is attached to an extension, which connects to the feeding bottle, bag or pump containing the nutrient formula prescribed for the patient.  The type of enteral feeding to use depends on factors including the patient’s medical condition, length of time feeding will be needed and, when appropriate, lifestyle.

If you need MIC-KEY* or MIC* feeding because you can’t eat or can’t eat enough, you still get balanced nutrition we all get from food. You just get it through a tube instead of through your mouth.

Consult these additional resources to learn more about nutrition-impairing conditions and diseases:

Enteral Feeding Treatment Options

Conventional feeding tubes can be bulky and difficult to conceal under clothing. This may not be a problem for patients using short-term feeding or who are not physically active. But what about those who enjoy being physically active and want to continue? For them, a feeding tube that is difficult to dislodge, allowing freer movement, and is easily concealed under clothing, such as the MIC-KEY* Low-Profile Gastrostomy Feeding Tube, can be an ideal choice. MIC-KEY* tubes go hand-in-hand with an active lifestyle.

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Tube Placement Areas

– GASTRIC (stomach)
– JEJUNAL (small intestine)
– GASTRO-JEJUNAL (small intestine with stomach decompression)

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