Common Intestinal Support Service Terminology :: Nationwide Children's Hospital

Intestinal Support Common Terminology

At Nationwide Children's Hospital we understand that many of the medical terms used in your child's treatment will be words you will likely not be familiar with. To help, we've compiled a list of the most common terms having to do with our Intestinal Support Service.

Use the links below for definitions on each term.

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Atresia: a part of the GI tract is absent or gone; this can occur anywhere along the GI tract



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Broviac: a central line that is tunneled under the skin so that the exit site is away from where the catheter enters the blood vessel



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Colostomy: a part of the colon is brought out as an opening on the abdominal wall



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Enteral: by the intestinal tract; enteral nutrition usually means formula given either by gastrostomy tube or jejunostomy tube



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Gastroschisis: in utero there is an opening of the abdominal wall just next to the umbilicus; the intestine herniates through this opening. Download our patient handout.



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Gastrostomy tube (G-tube): a feeding tube placed directly into the stomach



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G-J tube: a gastrostomy tube with an extension that extends into the small intestine from the stomach; the tube has two openings so that the stomach and small intestine can each be accessed



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Hirschsprung’s disease: a disease where the ganglion (nerve) cells are missing in the last part of the intestinal tract; it usually affects just the last part of the colon, but can extend higher up in the intestinal tract



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Ileostomy: a part of the ileum (the lower part of the small intestine) is brought out as an opening on the abdominal wall



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Jejunostomy: an opening on the abdominal wall into the jejunum (first part of the small intestine); it can be either for a feeding tube or an ostomy which drains the upper GI tract



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Jejunostomy tube (J-tube): a feeding tube placed directly into the small intestine



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Meconium ileus: an obstruction in the ileum (the lower part of the small intestine) caused by very thick meconium; meconium is the material that collects in the GI tract of the fetus; meconium ileus most commonly occurs in cystic fibrosis



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Nasogastric tube (NG tube): a feeding tube that is passed through the nose and into the stomach



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Nasojejunal tube (NJ tube): a feeding tube that is passed through the nose, past the stomach, and into the small intestine



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Necrotizing enterocolitis: this most commonly occurs in premature newborn infants; there is severe inflammation of the intestine which can cause destruction of part of the intestine



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Omphalocele: in utero, the abdominal wall does not close at the umbilicus and the intestine as well as sometimes the liver and spleen remain outside the abdomen in a sac



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Parenteral: intravenous



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PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter): a catheter inserted usually through a vessel in the arm or leg and extending so that the tip is in a large vessel near the heart or in the heart itself



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Pseudo-obstruction: a severe motility problem of the intestinal tract which can be caused by either a problem with the nerves or muscle of the GI tract



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Short bowel syndrome: loss of a significant portion of the intestine that causes marked absorption problems



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TPN: total parenteral (intravenous) nutrition also known as hyperalimentation



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Volvulus: a twisting of the intestine, usually associated with a condition called malrotation (a congenital problem where the intestines are not turned and fixed normally in utero)



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