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A nasogastric (NG) tube is a long, flexible plastic tube inserted into a person's nose and threaded into the stomach. An NG tube may be used for treatments such as sucking excess fluids out of the stomach and delivering medicines.
It also can deliver fluid that contains nutrients directly into the stomach. This is called tube feeding.
An NG tube is lubricated so it slides more easily. Then it's placed through the nose, down the throat and the esophagus, and into the stomach. The esophagus connects the throat to the stomach. The person is asked to swallow, if able, to help the tube go down and get into the right place.
When an NG tube is inserted, the person may have an X-ray taken to see if the tube is in the right place. Getting an NG tube usually isn't painful, but it may feel uncomfortable.
An NG tube can be used for different kinds of treatments. For example, it may be used to:
Current as of: March 22, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
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