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What to Expect When Setting Up a Feeding Tube (Ryles Tube)

Many times, the idea of setting up a feeding tube, also known as a Ryles tube, can be daunting. However, it is a crucial procedure for those whose loved ones are having difficulties swallowing or have the necessities reason for using an RT.  In this blog post, we'll walk you through the steps of inserting a Ryles tube, understanding the process can help alleviate some of the anxiety surrounding this important procedure.


Before beginning the procedure, it's essential to gather all necessary equipment. The Ryles tube used for adults typically ranges in size, with the most common size being 14FR, identifiable by its green-colored drainage port. There are 2 main types of Ryles Tube available in the market that have some differences in the material that they are made up.

Additionally, you'll need a 60ml syringe, lubricant, tape, and a stethoscope. Ensuring the patient understands the procedure and obtaining informed consent is crucial. Position the patient comfortably, with their head slightly elevated.

During the Insertion

As a patient, you may feel a gentle but consistent pain as the tube passes through your nostril and down the back of your throat. You may experience the urge to swallow or spit out the foreign body sensation. Try to Drink or have the action to swallow uring the procedure can help alleviate this feeling.

Once the tube passes the back of the throat, the most uncomfortable part of the insertion is over. As the tube reaches your stomach, the nurse will aspirate gastric contents to confirm correct placement, typically indicated by a pH of 4.5 to 5.

The tube will then be taped to your face and marked for monitoring. After the procedure, you may experience slight discomfort around the bridge of your nose, which usually subsides within 24 hours as you get used to the tube.

Patient Experience

After the tube is inserted, you may feel a consistent pricking sensation inside your nostril, which can be uncomfortable but usually improves over time.

The enteral feeding formulation will need to be advised by a dietitian or a TPN pharmacist. They will determine the frequency of feeding, the appropriate ratio of milk formula to water, and the amount of water allowed for flushing the tube, especially for patients with kidney issues. It's essential to follow these guidelines carefully to ensure proper nutrition and hydration.

Setting up a feeding tube may seem intimidating, but understanding the process can help alleviate anxiety and ensure a smooth experience for both patients and caregivers. Remember, if you have any questions or concerns, don't hesitate to speak to our clinical coordinator for guidance and more insight. We're here to support you every step of the way on this journey toward better health and well-being.

Article By: Pharmacist Tan Chan Wei 


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