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I get asked a lot about my daughter’s tubes. What are they all for and what do they do? Two of them are feeding tubes, but the third tube is a cecostomy.
Most people have never heard of a cecostomy or they get it confused with a colostomy, which is completely different. To be fair, I had never heard of these tubes either, but over the years, I have become quite familiar with them and how they work!
What is a Cecostomy?
A cecostomy is a surgical hole on the lower right abdomen that connects to the upper part of the large intestine. A tube is placed in this hole for medicine (an enema) to go through to help relieve severe constipation.
This procedure is usually done when laxatives and traditional enemas do not work anymore.
How Does It work?
Sometimes traditional enemas do not work because they do not go up the entire colon. With a cecostomy tube, the enema liquid starts at the top and flushes the entire colon out.
We fill an enema bag with the enema solution. For us, it’s a mixture of salt water and glycerin. Make sure to ask your doctor what type of enema your child may need. The bag connects to the Cecostomy or C-Tube and once she’s ready the liquid flows through and flushes out the large intestine.
To see how it works and what our daily enema regimen is like, click on the video below!
What are the Different Types of Cecostomy Tubes?
There are 3 different types of C-Tubes.
1. The Chait Tube
A Chait Tube is a white, flat, flexible, non-latex tube. On the inside, a coil keeps it from falling out. There is a flap on the outside that opens to allow a connecter.
This type of tube has to be changed out once per year at the doctor’s office.
As you can see in the picture above, my daughter’s skin did not like this tube. Every child is different, however, after a year of reaction to it, we switched to a different type of tube.
2. Mini-One Button (Sometimes called ACE)
This button is the one my daughter currently has. After having problems with the Chait Tube, I asked if we could switch to the Mini-One Button. We knew she would do okay with it since she has a Mini-One Button for her G-Tube and her J-Tube.
This tube is one of the easiest to have and it can be changed at home every 3 months. No doctor’s visit is necessary!
Last, but not least…
3. The Malone Procedure or Appendicostomy
The Malone is not a tube, but an opening made in the belly button for the enema to go through. We originally tried to get this procedure done, but it didn’t work out.
“The Malone procedure is also called the antegrade continence enema (ACE) surgical procedure or MACE. The Malone procedure is an alternative way of giving an enema. An enema is usually given by inserting a tube into the rectum.
During this surgery, the appendix is used to create a tube through which an enema is given. This small tube is used to make a tunnel from the outside of the abdomen to the colon. The stoma (opening) is positioned either on the lower right side of the belly or at the belly button. A valve is created in the stoma so the stool will not leak out of the opening.”Children’s Hospital Colorado
In conclusion, to know if one of these three tubes is right for you or your child, talk with your doctor about your options!