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Gavage vs. Lavage: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Gavage is the process of feeding a person or animal by inserting a tube into the stomach, while lavage is the washing out of a body cavity, such as the stomach, typically for medical treatment.
Gavage vs. Lavage

Key Differences

Gavage is primarily used for feeding, especially when oral intake is not possible or sufficient, as in medical or veterinary settings. Lavage, on the other hand, is a cleansing procedure, often used to remove toxins or contents from a body cavity, like the stomach, in cases of poisoning or overdose.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023
In gavage, a tube is inserted through the nose or mouth into the stomach for the delivery of food, medication, or other substances. Lavage involves the introduction and removal of a fluid, usually through a tube, to cleanse a body cavity; gastric lavage, for example, involves washing out the stomach.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023
Gavage is commonly used in hospitals for patients who cannot eat on their own, and in veterinary medicine for feeding animals like birds. Lavage is used in emergency medicine to treat cases of ingested toxins and in surgeries to clean out a body cavity.
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Dec 07, 2023
The equipment for gavage includes various types of feeding tubes, syringes, and pumps to administer the food or substance. Lavage requires tubes for the introduction and removal of cleansing fluids, along with equipment to control the flow and temperature of these fluids.
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Dec 07, 2023
Gavage carries risks such as tube misplacement, infection, or injury to the nose, throat, or stomach. Lavage also has risks, including the potential for fluid aspiration into the lungs or causing electrolyte imbalances.
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Dec 07, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Primary Purpose

Feeding
Cleansing
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Typical Procedure

Inserting a tube for substance delivery
Washing out a cavity with fluid
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Common Usage

Medical and veterinary feeding
Medical cleansing, especially in cases of poisoning
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Equipment Used

Feeding tubes, syringes, pumps
Tubes, fluid control equipment
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Potential Risks

Tube misplacement, infection, throat/stomach injury
Fluid aspiration, electrolyte imbalances
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Gavage and Lavage Definitions

Gavage

Used in veterinary medicine for feeding birds or animals unable to eat.
The injured bird was kept alive with gavage feeding.
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Nov 25, 2023

Lavage

Often utilized in emergency medicine for toxin removal.
Lavage was critical in treating the patient’s drug overdose.
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Nov 25, 2023

Gavage

A method of administering medication directly to the stomach.
The dog was given its medication through gavage.
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Nov 25, 2023

Lavage

The process of washing out an organ or cavity, such as the stomach.
Gastric lavage was performed to remove the ingested poison.
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Nov 25, 2023

Gavage

The process of feeding via a tube directly into the stomach.
The patient received nutritional support through gavage.
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Nov 25, 2023
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Lavage

Can be used in veterinary medicine for stomach cleansing.
The vet performed a gastric lavage on the poisoned dog.
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Gavage

Often used in research settings for controlled feeding experiments.
Gavage was used to administer the test substance to the lab mice.
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Nov 25, 2023

Lavage

Used medically to cleanse a wound or body cavity.
The surgeon performed a lavage to clean the abdominal cavity.
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Nov 25, 2023

Gavage

Introduction of nutritive material into the stomach by means of a tube.
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Oct 19, 2023

Lavage

A washing, especially of a hollow organ, such as the stomach or lower bowel, with repeated injections of water.
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Oct 19, 2023

Gavage

A process of force-feeding a goose for foie gras
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Oct 19, 2023

Lavage

A washing.
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Gavage

A process of force-feeding cattle for veal
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Oct 19, 2023

Lavage

(medicine) A washing of a hollow organ.
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Oct 19, 2023

Gavage

(medicine) Feeding by means of a tube passed into the stomach
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Oct 19, 2023

Lavage

(medicine) To wash a hollow organ
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Oct 19, 2023

Gavage

To stuff or glut with something
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Oct 19, 2023

Lavage

Washing out a hollow organ (especially the stomach) by flushing with water
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Oct 19, 2023

Gavage

Forced feeding (as of poultry or infants) by means of a tube passed through the mouth down to the stomach.
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Oct 19, 2023

Lavage

Sometimes applied in dental procedures to clean out oral cavities.
The dentist used lavage to clean the area during the extraction.
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Nov 25, 2023

Gavage

Feeding that consists of the delivery of a nutrient solution (as through a nasal tube) to someone who cannot or will not eat
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Oct 19, 2023

Gavage

Can be a lifesaving technique in medical emergencies.
Gavage enabled the comatose patient to receive essential nutrients.
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Nov 25, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is gavage?

Gavage is a medical procedure for feeding through a tube directly into the stomach.
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Dec 07, 2023

What is gastric lavage?

Gastric lavage is the process of washing out the stomach contents, often for medical emergencies.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

What is lavage?

Lavage is a medical procedure for washing out a body cavity, like the stomach.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

How is gavage performed?

Gavage involves inserting a tube through the nose or mouth into the stomach.
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Dec 07, 2023

What are the risks of gavage?

Risks include tube misplacement, infection, and injury to the throat or stomach.
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Dec 07, 2023

Why is gavage used in hospitals?

Gavage is used for patients who cannot eat by mouth due to illness or injury.
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Dec 07, 2023

Is gavage used for animals?

Yes, gavage is used in veterinary practice, especially for birds and small animals.
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Dec 07, 2023

Can gavage be used for medication?

Yes, gavage can be used to administer medication directly to the stomach.
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Is lavage painful?

Lavage can be uncomfortable, but pain management is typically provided.
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What are the risks of lavage?

Risks include fluid aspiration, electrolyte imbalances, and injury to the organ being cleansed.
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Dec 07, 2023

How is gavage different from normal eating?

Gavage bypasses the act of swallowing, delivering food directly to the stomach.
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Dec 07, 2023

What types of tubes are used for gavage?

Nasogastric or orogastric tubes are commonly used for gavage.
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Dec 07, 2023

Can lavage be used for other organs besides the stomach?

Yes, lavage can be used for other body cavities like the bladder or wound sites.
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What fluids are used in lavage?

Lavage typically uses saline or other medically safe fluids.
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Can lavage remove toxins effectively?

Lavage can be effective in removing certain types of ingested toxins.
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Dec 07, 2023

Who performs lavage?

Lavage is usually performed by trained medical professionals.
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Can gavage be used for long-term feeding?

Yes, gavage can be used for long-term feeding in chronic conditions.
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Dec 07, 2023

Is lavage always effective in emergencies?

Lavage effectiveness varies depending on the situation and the substance ingested.
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Dec 07, 2023

Can lavage be used in dental care?

Yes, lavage is used in dental procedures for cleaning purposes.
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Dec 07, 2023

Is specialized training required for gavage?

Yes, healthcare professionals receive specific training to perform gavage safely.
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Dec 07, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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