Spending time in the tube feeding community, a question that I see a lot is, “What is the difference between the Mic-Key and AMT GJ-tubes?” There are several differences between them, and as a mom with two kids with GJ-tubes, we have had experience with both tubes.
Halyard Mic-Key GJ
For those who do not know, a GJ-tube is a type of feeding tube that enters the stomach and extends into the jejunum, which is a part of the small intestines. The tube has separate ports that give you access to the G (stomach) and J (small intestine). There are many different medical reason why someone would need a GJ-tube.
Halyard makes the Mic-Key brand of feeding tubes, which includes the Mic-Key GJ button, and AMT makes the G-Jet button. While both tubes are button style feeding tubes, they both have different features.
Is more of a cube shape. The access to the J-port is on the top, and the access to the G-port and the balloon are on the side.
Has a four-leaf clover shape to it. The G-port and J-port are both on the top as well as a stabilizing arm to help keep the tube flat against the skin.
There is one piece of silicone that covers both the G-port and the J-port, so to have the J-port opened, the silicone cover must also be off the G-port.
The G-port and the J-port have independent silicone covers.
Something to note about both brands of feeding tubes: the valve inside the tube that is supposed to prevent backflow when an extension is not in often fails early in the lifespan of a GJ-tube (often quicker then it does in G-tubes). The port cover is very important to prevent backflow out of the tube when an extension is not on.
One style of extension is used to access both the G-port and the J-port. It can be interchanged with the AMT J-port extension as well.
The G-port and J-port use different styles of extensions, so you cannot use them interchangeably. The extensions that work with the G-port have a product number that starts with a 6, and the J-port extensions have a product number that starts with an 8. The J-port extensions are interchangeable with the Mic-Key extensions, but the G-port extensions are not.
The diameter around for feeding tubes is measured isn French sizes, and different people need different sizes based on the size of their stoma and their anatomy.
16F, 18F, 22F
14F, 16F, 18F
Both offer stem lengths from 1.0 to 3.5cm, and jejunal lengths of 15, 22, 30, or 45cm.
The J-port and J-extension glow in the dark, making it easier to hook up in the dark. The larger G-Jet tubes have an anti-kink coil inside of them to prevent them from flipping back up into the stomach. This is not available on the 14Fr size tube, though.
It’s Your Choice
Some people feel very passionately about one tube working better over the other; however this is one of those things like Pepsi and Coke. It is a personal preference of what works best for the patient.
Some hospitals only carry one brand of tube; however, if you feel that one brand would work better than the other in your situation, bring that up with the hospital. We feel that for our children the AMT tube works better for their needs. Several years ago, our hospital only carried the Mic-Key and then they only carried the AMT. About a year ago we were told they would be switching back to only carrying the Mic-Key. First, we advocated to the department in our hospital that places the tube (Interventional Radiology) and when they said they could not help us with which brand the hospital carried we talked with our GI doctor about it. She arranged a phone meeting for us with the head of radiology where I was able to express my views in a calm and logical way. Our hospital has agreed to carry the AMT tube in 14F and the Mic-Key tube in larger sizes.