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Suggestions for colostomy irrigation

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Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:32 pm

So wonderful to hear're navigating through the process! I think you will find that as you progress it will be less time consuming and your confidence will just escalate...know this...irrigation can be confident that you won't need a bag just have to learn your own "process" in terms of how long it takes and when you can be confident that all is well and you can put the stoma cap on with confidence. Personally the whole process is basically finished for me within about 45 first I waited an hour just to be sure but now I know I'm safe within the 45 minute time frame. Everyone is different and you will learn what works for you. So proud of you for not giving up and tweaking what you needed will find that your post will help someone else! Blessings :) CH

Fri Dec 02, 2016 12:51 pm

I have a few more questions about irrigation.  Do you continue to irrigate until you don't have anymore stool voiding, or just do it once. I see that people are using different amounts of water. I used 750 mls today and  I con't to void, I used another 500 mls and am still voiding remnants.

Time wise I see different times like 24-48 hours. Last time I waited 48 hours and did not have the slightest indication of needing to void, except for some gas. I irrigated and did not have any results. The next day I irrigated again and was voiding a lot. 

This time I went another 48 hrs and did not have any indications I was voiding so I started irrigating after 36 hrs, with results.

Does anyone wait or do you keep the irrigation process to 24-48 hrs.

I'm using a Hollister stoma cap and find the opening too small for my stoma. It doesn't work well for keeping odour away despite the filter. I ordered a sample stoma cap from Coloplast. It looks like it can accomodate a larger stoma.

The convenience of a stoma cap is great as the profile is almost invisible on my clothing but it seems you use a lot more ostomy product. I replace the cap every 24 hrs and when it comes to irrigating, I use a  flange with the sleeve attached. I cant leave the flange on as the liquid leaks under it while voiding. So every 2-3 days, I replace a flange and go through 2-3 caps.  I'm replacing the cap daily as I thought the adhesive was only meant to be a temporary use and was afraid it might come off. Any thoughts on that.

Thanks for your encouragement and advice


PS  As far as what I learned. I keep a pitcher of warm sudsy water close by to flush the sleeve of stool. It makes it much easier to reattach the clip with much less mess. I use vinegar to rinse everything after to provide sterility and cut down on the plastic becoming odorous.

Fri Dec 02, 2016 3:35 pm

andy, the frequency of your irrigation will depend on how much you eat and what you eat. a high protien and low fiber diet should help you get 2 days between irrigations. i just irrigate 1 time ever 2 days with 1.5 liters of water. your results may vary. try to irrigate the same time each day if possible. i find for me that early morning on an empty stomach is best, that way you can wait 1 hour for the water to return, then have breakfast which should stimulate your bowel, and if you didnt get completly clean, that should coax anything remaining to come out. you might want to clip the bottom of the sleeve closed and keep it on till you have breakfast at least till you get your bowel trained , that should save on supplies. i no longer wear the caps but rather i now use the "patch", another member told me about them and they are even smaller that the 2 piece cap system. they have no "flange" and just stick on like a large bandaid. i use hollister 1796. 

i irrigate without a flange, just fasten the sleeve with a tight fitting ostomy belt to hold it place and it will seal fairly well to the skin around the stoma, i have had no leaks useing this method, but like you i use an old towel to stand on in case i do. i do the same warm soapy water trick that you use and the sleeve will last a few months. stick with it till you get everything figured out and you will reap the rewards of a more active and normal lifestyle. keep us posted. regards. mmsh

Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:06 pm

Hey mild mannered super hero, rec'd your reply to rookie irrigating, the nurse told me ever two to three days, each time I get a little more. !!!! But my sleeve had a tear I used it this morning and while cleaning it, it tore so I called my nurse who told me she ordered it from edge park. On the 21st of nov, I called edgepark they claim they didn't have that prescription. So it was ordered again yesterday in which they said it should be a week. So it looks like I'll be starting over again. But thanks for the instructions. Angelicamarie

Fri Dec 02, 2016 6:27 pm

I haven't started the irrigation process yet, but plan on it in the future. I always wondered if there was another way that might last alittle longer... Most of us on here have had a colonoscopy , I have had a few, one last week thru the stoma. One thing that hasn't changed is the good stuff we get to drink prior to the procedure. I have noticed that I don't have much of anything coming out for about a week after, except maybe some clear liquid the next day ( a very small amount). This may be a dumb question but why counld't you take a 1/2 dose every 4 -5 days and be done with everything in between? It may not be good for you? Just curious if anyone has thought of this or tried it? It would be great if you were going on a trip for a few days, if it could work, nothing to deal with for 6 or 7 days would be geat.

Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:16 pm

Hey letsrock, you said you have never irrigated so I,don't quite understand when you say you had a few, what, and what good stuff. What are you doing that last 4-5 days cause I'm irrigating , and I still have output. Angelicamarie



Fri Dec 02, 2016 7:23 pm

Sorry if thats confusing, I was referring to a colonoscopy & that I have that procedure a few times, the good stuff is in reference to what you have to drink prior to the procedure........

Sat Dec 03, 2016 12:03 am

Letsrock, hey I rec'd your message, now I understand, sorry that you had to have that done more than once. It is very painful at least it was for me . Thanks for responding letsrock.?angelicamarie

Sat Dec 03, 2016 2:36 pm

No problems, was just thinking that if you drank that same mixture (the one that you drink prior to the scope) once a week that you wouldn't have any output for a few days....

Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:02 pm

Letsrock, I have to have a colonospy on the 7th so they go through the stoma? 


Sat Dec 03, 2016 4:52 pm

I don't have any other way.....I have a barbie butt.....& a colostomy.....I was really no big deal...painless & pretty quick

Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:35 pm

Hey Andy...I agree with Mild Mannered Super Hero...I think every 48 hours is the best way to go...the idea is that the colon eventually is essentially "trained" to only go when irrigated..having said that I would stick to the every other day schedule. I also drink a lot before...about 16-24 ounces of water seems to help the process...good luck and continue to ask questions...lot of good information in the forum! Blessings-CH :)

Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:53 pm

I started irrigation 1 months ago and mainly do it at the same time every evening.  It works great and I have no output for 24 hours. However, sometimes after irrigation, I only put paper towel on and I have a little output every 10 minutes or so which is terrible. I do not want to waste so many bags.  Mostly irrigation has given me my freedom back and am very happy to never empty bags during the day.  I usually use 500 ml warm water and am done after 30 minutes.  It is frustrating if you have something come out every 10 minutes after irrigation.  

Does anybody have the same problem?  As I said, it has been great 90% just once or twice I had this happen to me.

Mon Jan 01, 2018 4:44 am

Hello Susanne. 

You don't say how long the 10 minute outputs go on for.  We are all different in this regard and many people are fortunate enough to finish irrigation in under an hour. I, on the other hand, usually have to wait for a couple of hours before I feel comfortable that I've finished and even then, occasionally I have a small amount of output for an hour or so after that. Sometimes I even find that I've had  a little output during the night (I irrigate in the evening). 

My solution to this frustrating state of affairs is that I leave the irrigation sleeve on and fold it up so that it makes a temporary bag. What I have also found is that once I get up from the loo and move around, it seems to encourage the last of the output so, although it is a bit of a fag, I then have to empty the sleeve later because of the small amount of extra output. Nonetheless, I still think that the irrigation is well-worthwhile because I DON'T HAVE ANY OUTPUT AT ALL THE NEXT DAY. 

Best wishes 


Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:32 pm

Hi Bill,

thank you for your response.  And yes, considering everything, I am very happy to not have any output during the day while at work and that gives me more of a better control and I feel free again.  I guess a little output once in a while is no big deal but I also think it will all work eventually.  

I am very glad that irrigation lets me have more control over my life again which is so important and I feel much better in the gym etc. and all the activities I do enjoy.


Thanks you.

Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:56 am

I have a permanent colostomy from colorectal/anal cancer surgery in 2017. While I'm now used to the colostomy, I have other problems regarding it. My ostomy nurse talked about irrigation, but said that many people try it too soon. I think I'm ready since it's been a couple off years since my surgery. But I'm not sure how to start.

Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:59 am
nomolos wrote:

I have a permanent colostomy from colorectal/anal cancer surgery in 2017. While I'm now used to the colostomy, I have other problems regarding it. My ostomy nurse talked about irrigation, but said that many people try it too soon. I think I'm ready since it's been a couple off years since my surgery. But I'm not sure how to start.

Hello nomolos.

My stoma nurse also said not to try irrigation 'too soon' but her suggested date was six weeks after surgery.

There are several very good, explanatory videos for beginners regarding irrigation and you will find them on youtube under stoma irrigation. Alternatively, you could either ask your stoma  nurse to run through the procedure with you or ask manufacturers like Coloplast  or Hollister to send you the necessary information plus samples.

I do hope that you try it and that it proves to be beneficial to you as it is definitely a life-changer with no output during the day, and the obvious advantages that this brings.

Best wishes


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