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Colostomy irrigation

Posted by Baseballsport, on Mon May 27, 2019 8:03 pm

I've had my colostomy since 1983. In the last year when I irrigate neither the water or stool comes out. Maybe the next day the stool will start to come out. I used to have great success irrigating. So good that I could go with out a pouch. I used to get a good 7 days with the wafer, now I  am struggle get 5. Would anyone have any idea what could have changed in my colon to keep the water and stool from coming out?  

    I have been taking mirlax for a long time.

Reply by Puppyluv56, on Mon May 27, 2019 11:06 pm

Hey Baseballsport,

i sometimes have times when I irrigate that nothing comes back and I have discovered that it isn’t coming back because it did not go in. Sometimes something happens where I have so much backsplash that very little water actually goes In. Did not realize until I clamped the sleeve off as I was inserting water and found that the water was all in the sleeve! I always fill my bag to the very top which equates to 2500-2750 cc’s to compensate for some of that splashback. I always save at least 500-750 cc’s to rinse the sleeve. The goal is 1400 cc’s in. You may want to try clamping your sleeve and checking it out! Could be a hernia preventing the insertion of water. If you had a blockage, I would think that nothing would go either way! Are you using a two piece cap? Or have you gone back to a pouch? How often do you irrigate? I tried every other day for 6 months and even though it was sooo much better than not irrigating, I still had output. I have just started irrigating every day and still have output! I have a crazy diet so most is my own fault but hoping that soon, I can move on to a cap. Hope you find your problem. It certainly is a life changer!


Reply by Bill, on Tue May 28, 2019 1:26 am

Hello Baseballsport.

My reply would have been much the same as Puppyluv's in that sometimes there is so much splashback that hardly any water gets input to the stoma so does not do the job as intended.  I have several different hernias so this could be the problem for me. However,I have found that the current/recent medication I'm on for heart problems has altered the stoma routine so this might also have a bearing on the situation. I have found that Metamucil helps to soften the stools and seems to enable more water to get to where it needs to be to evacuated effectively. 

Hope this helps 

Best wishes


Reply by Pirrip, on Tue May 28, 2019 5:02 pm

I was having a 'tough' time, last week, untill I ate about a half pound of boiled onions. That certainly released the dam for me. Damn me it did!   Cant do any harm to give it a try. Not as nice as fried but not all medicines taste good! Good luck anyway..x

Reply by Shitt Happens, on Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:32 am

Good morning Baseballsport,
I have been irrigating my stoma for over 1 year and I no longer use a collar and bag (look at my picture to see what I use on my account) and the first thing to do when all your equipment is ready which means warm water bag, your cone with gel and put gel on his index finger and insert your index finger into your stoma to relax and bring in the cone more easily, and no water loss. I always kneel in front of the toilet and when the bag is emptied everything comes out quickly in the toilet without problems.

If nothing comes out in the first 30 minutes, or very little, I take a round plastic dish and I lie in my bed on the left side with the dish below me so that the stoma is in the dish and miraculously the stoma begins to empty. This only happened to me 3 times in about 1 1/2 years, but it works. It is important to have consistency when you are doing your irrigation. I do mine at about 5 pm every day and I always eat an oatmeal in the morning to start my day and usually I have no waste in the day.

Reply by honestabe, on Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:51 pm

Have colostomy and just had prolapsed stoma reduced ! Am thinking about irrigation for social get togethers! Have large 2 piece convatec. Why can’t I use a regular enema bottle and hose with my large bag instead of buying irrigation equipment? Not concerned about the money!

Reply by Puppyluv56, on Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:56 pm

Wow Abe, I imagine anything would work but I would be careful. You will need it to hold at least 1500cc of warm water. You might want to speak to you Ostomy nurse or doctor first. Maybe do your itrigation the first time at the Ostomy nurses office. 


Reply by Bill, on Mon Jun 10, 2019 1:29 am

Hello Honestabe.

I have made my own irrrigator out of a battery operated shower unit and a cereal box and it's worked well for me for about a year. (See my photos for a picture)

Before that I used a garden sprayer which worked equally well but I was reluctant to try to take it through customs because it had 'KILLERSPRAY' printed in bold letters on the side and I thought they might object. Someone has to invent these things so why not you? I'm sure you will find that if you have used an enema bottle successfully before, then it will likely work again. Common-sense and caution are always good ingredients for tryng new stuff. 

Best wishes


Reply by honestabe, on Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:50 am

Tks for reply 

Reply by Shitt Happens, on Mon Jun 10, 2019 3:55 pm


But why make one? the Hollister bag that I bought with the cone and drain that opens and closes for about $ 60.00 and it's been over 1 1/2 years that I use it and it's still good. Can you explain to me what is the point in making one? Please! And maybe I'll want to make one me too ... lolllll

Reply by honestabe, on Mon Jun 10, 2019 4:14 pm

Am going to contact convatec and order couple! Money is no issue, just wondering if you already have an old enema bag in closet why not just use it! I have only used an stoma nurse one time in 5 years! She came here one time and didn’t really know anything! I have gotten my info off post like this one and you tube!  Am lifetime member! Tks for info!

Reply by Bill, on Tue Jun 11, 2019 1:33 am

Hello Shit Happens. There seems to be no reason whatsoever to make one's own irrigator if the one's supplied by manufacturers do the job adequately. However, in my case, the regular ones did not work for several reasons: 

1) My peristomal hernia closed the hole just inside the stoma and the cone would not penetrate past it, so I needed a catheta arrangement.

2) I needed water pressure to assist the catheta to circumnavigate the hernia without causing damage. (the pump provided just enough water pressure to aid entry).

3) The water bag was insufficient for my needs ( partly because I had too much splashback without a cone ).

4) The only device which came somewhere near to my needs was the Braun irrigator ( I have written a review of this product and would not criticise it for performance apart from having insufficient water capacity and being far too expensive for my budget.) fortunately, it would have been available on the NHS except that it did not satisfy all my requirements. 

I hope this answers your question as to why I have made my own device (s). 

Of course there is another reason, which is that I actually enjoy experimenting to see if I can improve gadgets to help with the sometimes tedious processes of managing a stoma.  

Best wishes




Reply by honestabe, on Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:30 am


Reply by Tink71, on Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:24 pm

I first got my colostomy about 6 years ago and was kind of in my own to figure things out (it was a result of surgical mistakes). I've tried to contact stone underworld help but am always told i have to go back to where I got the colostomy. That's impossible as it was done twice.  I have difficulty getting have to fit as it is sunk way in. But I am amazed as I have never heard of even read of anyone irritating their stoma. Doesn't that hurt and why do you do it. I totally hate my bag as if I have to empty at work people make a big deal about oder. And yes I spray and put stuff in bag to try and decrease smell but it seems like that makes the bag break down faster.  What is a cap and doesn't that hurt. What happens if you have one on and start to go. I know I sound stupid and don't mean to pry but I'm just in aw as this seems odd and risky or asking for an accident. Curiosity has really got me on this one.

Reply by Puppyluv56, on Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:53 pm

Hi Tink,

irrigation is a way to relieve all of those odor issues and emptying in a public restroom or friend home. No it does not hurt at all. There are no nerves in there to cause or send pain! You order an irrigation kit from your supply company. You can do as I did if you do not have an ostomy nurse to consult. I watched the u-tube videos several times! It is a bit cleaner on the video but still exactly as you would do! You can call the different ostomy supply companies, coloplast, Convetec, and Hollister and request cap with filter samples. Either one piece or two piece, which ever products you like best. You irrigate every day at the same time of day to train your colon to empty only at that time. It does take a while befor you have no output and you will need to continue to wear your drainable pouch just in case. There are many people that irriagate on here. All willing to help you in the process. You can certainly send me a private message if you feel more comfortable. Glad to help you they this process of you think it fits better into your world. It will set you free. Allows you to live again!



Reply by Bill, on Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:46 am

Hello Tink71. Puppyluv has given a perfectly good reason for trying irrigation so I will not repeat her post, just reinforce what she says. 

Those of us who have been successful with irrigation have found that life is so much easier without the daily management of a bag. This is what makes the process worthwhile and I would recommend anyone with a colostomy to give it a try.

Best wishes


Reply by Shitt Happens, on Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:50 pm

Hello Think 71 ,


I practice the irrigation of my stoma every day for over 2 years and I discovered system through this site.

I advise you to see a stomotherapist to help you understand this irrigation system before you start.

You will see despite this damn handicap, irrigation is a real deliverance.

I no longer wear a collar and bag, just a pansemnent and a tegarderm film.


Good luck

Danielle from Quebec, Canada

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