Irrigation vs. Ileostomy: Seeking advice

Jan 23, 2014 10:24 pm
Hi, my name is Neil. I have a colostomy since August 2013. I have a large lump; it's a hernia which is causing pain and discomfort and leaks. The surgeon said he will fix the problem. He wants me to irradiate if that doesn't work. As my colon isn't in great shape, he will give me an ileostomy. I don't know how well irrigation will work or how much more work an ileostomy is. If you can help with anything, please let me know.
Jan 23, 2014 11:34 pm

Irrigation is not hard and will improve your quality of life. It's my understanding that the remaining colon must be healthy to qualify for irrigation. There is a good YouTube video on irrigation which I suggest you watch. I irrigate and have for several years, if you have any trouble I would be glad to give you a few tips. The hernia will complicate but not prevent successful irrigation. Get your irrigation kit and give it a try. I irrigate early in the morning every second day. I think since the bowel is not active much for 10 hours during sleep, it's the best time. Get the water in and then have a cup of coffee or something similar which, combined with introducing the water, stimulates the bowel and gives a good return. I always take the phone and a book with me to pass the 1-hour time you should wait for a complete return. If you follow your routine and watch your fiber intake, you should be output-free for two days. Good luck.

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Jan 24, 2014 6:38 am
Hello shrek.  I too have a colostomy complete with a hernia so I can empathise with your situation. My ostomy 'closes' over so that it causes its own blockage. However, with some experimentation I have overcome that problem by using compressed water (from a garden weedkiller-sprayer)which gently forces the water through to allow the cone to find its way through the blockage. Interestingly, once the cone is in place the blockage seems to add pressure for a short while after which it  'gives-up' and relaxes so that the rest of the irrigation can take place without pressure or pain in that area. I hope that you are successful with irrigation as it is so much more convenient not having to worry about bags during the day. I irrigate in the early evening and leave the irrigation sleeve on overnight as a bag - just in case. -- It works for me!  Best wishes Bill  
Jan 24, 2014 8:03 am

Many thanks for the advice. The surgeon said there was a system that one tube goes in and one tube goes down the toilet, nothing about a bag.

Jan 25, 2014 2:36 pm

The kit will come with a sleeve. Watch the video on YouTube and you'll see exactly how the process works. Regards. MMSH

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Jan 25, 2014 3:00 pm

Irrigation works... I have been doing it for over 10 years now... and can go easily 3 days without a bowel movement... however, I usually do it every 2 days... easily done in the shower on a stool with a bucket... easy clean up afterwards... I think though it depends on what type of colon operation you had... you should check with your surgeon or ostomy nurse to see if you are a candidate for irrigation... if so, it will set you free... check the video... Coloplast sells a kit... it's easy... Good luck.