Patients with cancer of the esophagus often have problems with swallowing and suffer from malnutrition. Hence they have to be fed with the help of a nasogastric tube or NG tube. NG tube or enteral feeding is typically given for three weeks or less. A nasojejunal tube (NJT) is used in some treatments. It is similar to an NG tube and takes a similar path anatomically, but the tip goes into the second bowel called the jejunum. NJTs are used when the stomach does not empty as it should, if there is a blockage in the first bowel or if the patient has undergone pancreatic surgery.
The NG tube will be inserted while you’re sitting down or lying down with the head elevated. The thin, plastic tube is then inserted into the nose and extended down the throat and passed through the gastrointestinal tract into the stomach. The medical team may ask you to bend your head, neck and your body at different angles to facilitate the passage into your stomach. The nurse will secure the outer part of the tube to your face or elsewhere with a tape.
In most cases, there are no specific preparations before the tube is inserted apart from blowing your nose and drinking water. It is better to discuss the entire procedure with your care providers and how you can be most comfortable.