T-tube Care Post Transplant
Your transplant surgeon may need to place a small tube, called a T-tube, into the bile duct during your liver transplant surgery. The T-tube is a small, rubber tube that sits in the bile duct and allows bile to drain out of your body into a small pouch, known as a bile bag. The transplant team can then check the amount of bile being made by the new liver. The bile will drain into the bag. The bile drainage should be a deep gold to dark green color. The T-tube is attached to your skin with a stitch.
The transplant team will decide when we are able to remove the T- tube bag and place a cap on it. This is usually done while you are still in the hospital. The T-tube with the cap on it will remain in place for about four months so that it can be used for special testing and to allow the bile duct to heal.
The dressing around the tube should be changed at least once daily, and more often if it becomes moist. The transplant nurse will show you how to change the dressing without pulling out the T-tube. The transplant nurse will also show you how to repair the tube if it gets cracked.
Notify your transplant nurse or coordinator of the following:
• T-tube gets pulled out (either totally or partially)
• T-tube gets a crack in it
• There is drainage around the T-tube site
• The bile in the drainage changes color
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 10/02/2012
Copyright © 10/02/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7411
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