Nutrition Services for adults

Radiologically Inserted Gastrostomy RIG - after treatment

This webpage provides information and advice following your Radiologically Inserted Gastrostomy (RIG).

It is important that you are aware of problems you may experience after leaving hospital as some situations need further treatment. If you have any further questions please ask a member of staff.


For a new RIG stoma siteShow [+]Hide [-]

  • For 10 – 14 days clean the area of the gastrostomy, known as the ‘stoma’, using a sterile saline solution
  • Stitches inserted at the time of the procedure will have been removed before your discharge home
  • Apply a dry dressing if there is oozing from the stoma
  • If the site is inflamed, oozing blood or pus a swab will be obtained for analysis by your GP or district nurse
  • Rotate the tube through 360° daily. One complete turn
  • For two-three weeks do not immerse the RIG in water (use showers not baths).

For an established RIG stoma siteShow [+]Hide [-]

  • When the site has healed (two-three weeks) clean daily with mild soap solution using tissues or soft cloth
  • No dressing should be necessary unless there is a heavy discharge.

Retention BalloonShow [+]Hide [-]

  • The tube is held in place in your stomach by a small balloon filled with water. This water must be checked and refilled regularly to prevent the tube from falling out. This is first done three weeks after insertion and then every two weeks; your district nurse or practice nurse will do this for you. 
  • If you have lost or gained weight or your abdomen is distended the balloon may need to be altered slightly or the tube changed. You will be advised when you attend the PEG clinic six weeks after you go home.

Flushing and feedingShow [+]Hide [-]

  • Only give prescribed feed, cooled, boiled water and medication through your RIG/PEG
  • Ensure the prescribed amount of water is flushed through the tube before and after the feed
  • Medicines should always be in liquid form · Extension tubes are always used to give feeds. These must be washed and can be reused for up to four weeks
  • Sitting upright or with the head of the bed elevated will help prevent reflux and risk of chest infections
  • Do not lie flat for 30 minutes after feeding has finished
  • If the RIG tube blocks first try a new extension tube. If still blocked flush with 30 mls of warm water. If this fails after 30 minutes flush with soda water (carbonated drink) or pineapple juice. If still blocked after a further 30 minutes contact PEG Team or Out of Hours Contact (see overleaf)
  • If the tube comes out, or if you suspect that the balloon has burst, tape the tube in position on your stomach and contact the PEG team or Out of Hours service immediately. If you have been supplied with a spare tube take this with you if you need to go to the hospital.

Please note

If during the first seven days following your tube insertion:

  • there is a leak of fluid around the tube
  • there is pain on feeding
  • or there is fresh bleeding

Stop the feed immediately and contact the hospital. Contact details below.

Contact details

Monday to Friday - 9am to 5pm

For adults

Urgent messages:

  • PEG Nurses, tel: 0191 282 9637
  • Nutrition Nurse, tel: 0191 244 8520
  • RVI Endoscopy Unit, tel: 0191 282 5655

Non urgent messages:

  • Answer phone, tel: 0191 282 0134

For children

  • Sister Children’s Services, tel: 0191 2821694
  • or, tel: 0191 2820325

Outside the hours stated above

Please telephone:

  • Newcastle Hospitals Trust Switchboard - 0191 233 6161

Ask to speak to:

  • For adults - Specialist Registrar on call for gastroenterology and the Liver Unit at the Freeman Hospital
  • For children – Specialist Registrar on call for paediatrics

Specialist Registrar on call for gastroenterology and the Liver Unit at the Freeman Hospital

Leaflet to download

You can download a pdf version of the information on this page.pdf

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