There are various ways in which each tube is different
There are various ways in which each tube is different

The differences between G (gastrostomy) tube and J (jejunostomy) tube are:

1. Site of placement:

G-tube: A G-tube is a small, flexible tube inserted in the stomach via a small cut on the abdomen.

J-tube: A J-tube is a small, flexible tube inserted into the second/middle part of the small bowel (the jejunum).

2. Uses:


  • To provide medications and nutrition
  • To release stomach gases
  • For gastric drainage

J-tube: It is used to provide medications and nutrition.

3. Method of placement: 

G-tube: It can be placed through an endoscope, laparoscope, or by an open abdomen surgery.

J-tube: It can be placed endoscopically, laparoscopically, or via a gastric bypass procedure.

4. Changing of the tube:

G-tube: Most of the G-tubes can be changed at home. 

J-tube: For most of the J-tubes, changing at home is not possible.

5. Patient selection criteria

G-tube: The G-tubes are best suited for patients with difficulty in swallowing because of:

  • esophageal atresia (abnormal narrowing of the food pipe)
  • stroke 
  • tracheoesophageal fistula (abnormal communication between the food pipe and windpipe)

J-tube: It is appropriate for patients with:

  • chronic vomiting
  • low stomach motility
  • high risk for aspiration

5. Feeding speed

G-tube: Feeding is faster because the stomach has an expandable area and fundus (upper curved part of the stomach).

J-tube: It requires slow continuous feeding with a pump.

Are PEG tubes and J tubes the same?

A percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube is a soft, plastic tube placed in the stomach through the skin (percutaneously) with the help of an endoscope. The J tube (jejunostomy tube), on the other hand, is a soft, plastic tube placed through the skin of the abdomen into the mid-section of the small intestine (the jejunum). The endoscopic approach to place a J tube is similar to the one used for the PEG tube. The difference is that the doctor uses a longer endoscope to enter into the small bowel for J tube placement. 

How should I care for my percutaneous gastrostomy/jejunostomy tube at home?

You must learn to take good care of the skin around the tube to avoid getting an infection or skin irritation. Your doctor/nurse will teach you how to change the dressing around the tube every day.

  • Keep the tube protected by taping it to the skin.
  • Keep the skin clean and dry; you will need to change the bandages once a day or more if the area becomes wet or dirty. To keep the skin clean:
  1. Wash your hands well with soap and water.
  2. Remove dressings or bandages on the skin. Throw away the bandages/dressings in a plastic bag.
  3. Look for any redness, odor, pain, pus, or swelling on the skin.
  4. Make sure the stitches are in place.
  5. Clean the skin around the tube one to three times a day using a clean towel and mild soap and water. Gently try to remove any discharge or crusting on the skin and tube. 
  6. Pat dry the skin well with a clean towel.
  7. Place a small piece of gauze under the disc around the tube if there is discharge.
  8. Do not rotate the tube.
  9. Place the new bandages or gauze around the tube and tape it securely to the abdomen. 
  10. Never use creams, powders, or sprays near the site unless your nurse or doctor advises you to do so.
  11. Flush the tube with a syringe and warm water as instructed by your nurse/doctor. The syringe may be reused after rinsing and drying. 

You must inform your doctor if:

  • The tube gets pulled out.
  • The stitches come off.
  • There is redness, swelling, odor, or pus at the tube site.
  • There is bleeding around the tube.
  • There is leaking around the tube.
  • There is excessive scarring or skin growth around the tube.
  • You have vomiting episodes.
  • Your stomach is bloated.


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Medically Reviewed on 8/19/2020