Life Expectancy After Withdrawal of Feeding Tube

According to, death from the removal of the feeding tube can be a “gentle death” or a “peaceful death.” Patients who have had their feeding tubes removed are expected to live just over 10 days.

Day 1

The process begins on the day the tube is removed. Patients who are not conscious will not feel any discomfort when the tube is withdrawn.

Days 3 and 4

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Patients will begin to look thinner because the body tissues will have lost fluids. The eyes and lips will also begin to look dry. The heart rate of the patient will also go up as the blood pressure goes down.

Days 5-10

If a patient is conscious, they will become less alert during this period of time. Their breathing will become irregular with periods of fast breathing and periods of slow breathing.

After 10 Days

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After 10 days without a feeding tube, patients may appear to be in a coma. Patients will begin to not respond to their environment, and they will appear very dehydrated.


The amount of time that a person lives after having a feeding tube removed depends on the amount of body fat and fluid the patient had. Toxins then cause the respiratory muscles to be unresponsive, and other organ systems fail.