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Gastric suction

Gastric lavage; Stomach pumping; Nasogastric tube suction

 

Gastric suction is a procedure to empty the contents of your stomach.

How the Test is Performed

 

A tube is inserted through the nose or mouth, down the food pipe (esophagus), and into the stomach. Sometimes you may be given a numbing medicine to reduce irritation and gagging caused by the tube.

Stomach contents can be removed using suction right away or after spraying water through the tube.

 

How to Prepare for the Test

 

In an emergency, such as when a patient has swallowed poison or is vomiting blood, no preparation is needed for gastric suction.

If gastric suction is being done for testing, your doctor may ask you not to eat overnight or to stop taking certain medications.

 

How the Test Will Feel

 

You may feel a gagging sensation as the tube is passed.

 

Why the Test is Performed

 

This test may be done to:

  • Remove poisons, harmful materials, or excess medications from the stomach
  • Clean the stomach before an upper endoscopy (EGD) if you have been vomiting blood
  • Collect stomach acid
  • Relieve pressure if you have a blockage in the intestines

 

Risks

 

Risks may include:

  • Breathing in contents from the stomach (this is called aspiration)
  • Hole (perforation) in the esophagus
  • Tube may be placed into the airway instead of the esophagus
  • Minor bleeding

 

 

References

Greene S, Harris C, Singer J. Gastrointestinal decontamination of the poisoned patient. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2008;24:176-178.

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    A Closer Look

     

      Talking to your MD

       

        Self Care

         

          Tests for Gastric suction

           
           

          Review Date: 12/8/2012

          Reviewed By: Todd Eisner, MD, Private practice specializing in Gastroenterology, Boca Raton, FL. Clinical Instructor, Florida Atlantic University School of Medicine. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

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