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Alternative Names Return to topGastric lavage; Stomach pumping; Nasogastric tube suction
Definition Return to top
Gastric suction is a procedure that empties the contents of the stomach. It may be done for tests, or to remove materials such as poisons.
How the Test is Performed Return to top
A tube is inserted through the nose or mouth, down the food pipe (esophagus), and into the stomach. Sometimes you may get a numbing medicine to reduce irritation and gagging as the tube is being inserted.
Stomach contents can be removed using suction right away, or after spraying water through the tube.
How to Prepare for the Test Return to top
In an emergency, such as when a patient has swallowed poison or is vomiting blood, no preparation is needed for gastric suction. When it is done for testing, your doctor may ask you not to eat overnight, or to stop taking certain medications.
How the Test Will Feel Return to top
You may feel a gagging sensation as the tube is passed.
Why the Test is Performed Return to top
This test may be performed for several different reasons, including:
Risks Return to top
There is a very small risk of the tube being accidentally placed into the airway instead of the esophagus.
Other small risks include the following:
References Return to top
Greene S, Harris C, Singer J. Gastrointestinal decontamination of the poisoned patient. Pediatr Emerg Care. 2008;24:176-178.Update Date: 10/13/2008 Updated by: John E. Duldner, Jr., MD, MS, Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Director of Research, Department of Emergency Medicine, Akron General Medical Center and Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.