Nasogastric/nasojejunal tube insertion

This information is for patients whose doctor has requested you have a nasogastric/nasojejunal tube inserted.

What is a nasogastric/ nasojejunal tube?

A nasogastric (NG) tube is a narrow feeding tube which is placed through your nose down into your stomach. 

A nasojejunal (NJ) tube is also a narrow feeding tube placed through the nose, but it is positioned in the small bowel beyond stomach (the jejunum).  

These feeding tubes can be used to give you fluids, medications and liquid food complete with nutrients directly into your stomach or small bowel, as appropriate.

Why do I need to have an NG/ NJ feeding tube inserted?

NG/ NJ tubes can provide you with the fluids, medications and nutrition your body needs while you are unable to eat or drink adequate amounts. 

This may be because you have swallowing problems or need access for specific medications such as Duodopa, or need additional nutritional support.  

Are there any risks?

NG/ NJ tube insertion is a safe procedure.

On the day of the procedure

Please inform us if you are allergic to anything or you are diabetic.

  • You should not eat for 4 hours before your appointment. 
  • You may drink water and take any prescribed medications until the time of your appointment. 
  • If you are an outpatient, you will arrive at the Imaging Department, Gate 19 of the Brunel building and be accompanied into our day case area. 
  • If you are an inpatient, you will come to the Imaging Department from the ward you have been admitted to.
  • A doctor will discuss the procedure with you. You will be given an opportunity to ask any questions you may have. 
  • Once all the checks have been performed, you will be taken to the procedure room. 
  • There will be a doctor, nurse and radiographer with you throughout the procedure.
  • You will be given a local anaesthetic throat spray to help numb the throat.
  • Some lubricant jelly will be put on the tube to help it into position.
  • The narrow feeding tube will be passed through a nostril, down into your stomach/ small bowel guided by an x-ray machine. You will be asked to swallow a few times to help the tube into position. 
  • The tube will then be secured using a dressing or nasal tape.

What happens after the procedure?

You will be taken back to the day case area or your ward, so that nursing staff may monitor you closely.

We hope this information is helpful. If you have any questions before or after the procedure, please phone the Imaging Department using the number on your appointment letter.

© North Bristol NHS Trust.  This edition published December 2022. Review due December 2025. NBT003519

Nasogastric/nasojejunal tube insertion