On December 7th Anthony had emergency surgery for a jejunal volvulus and had 135cm of his small intestine removed. Details here
He spent 11 days in the hospital and came home with a g-tube and a PICC line. Because of the surgery, they had to discontinue his GJ-tube and place a G-tube. Prior to the volvulus, Anthony had to be fed via J-tube (Jejunal tube) because he is unable to tolerate G-tube (gastostomy tube) feedings due to severe gastric reflux.
We were unable to feed him sufficient calories via the new g-tube because of his reflux and we could not place a new GJ-tube because of the surgery. So, he came home with a PICC line for TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition via an intravenous).
The Plan: to replace his GJ-tube once his small intestine heals. If they are unable to replace the GJ-tube, then they would do a surgical J-tube.
On January 5, 2011, Anthony returned to the hospital for a GJ-tube. Anthony had had a G-tube for many years. However, after his spinal fusion about 4 years ago, his reflux kept getting worse until we finally decided to place a GJ-tube. A GJ-tube is basically a tube that is threaded through his present G-tube stoma and then guided via x-ray into his Jejunum (second part of the small intestine). More info here
Because of Anthony’s past abdominal surgeries (Nissen fundoplication and the more recent bowel resection) threading the tube from stomach into the small intestine is a challenge. Plus, they have to be very careful with the placement of the tube to avoid the surgical site (where they sutured the small intestine together). They had to order a custom JG-tube, which is a short tube and could actually be called a GD-tube, because it goes into the duodenum, (first portion of the small intestine). If they were unable to place this tube, the back-up plan was to do a surgical J-tube.
It took them about 3 hours under general anesthesia to get proper placement of the tube. He was admitted overnight for observation. He was discharge the next day with the new tube at 20cc/per hour. We need to gradually increase this amount with a goal of 50cc/hr 24/7. This is enough calories to be able to discontinue the TPN and remove the PICC line.
We are really in no hurry to stop the TPN, because Anthony has lost a lot of weight and we would like him to gain some weight before removing the PICC line. We have a follow up appointment with the surgeon on Wednesday.