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Irrigation
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t had become apparent that there was now so much information about irrigation on this website, possibly more than can be found anywhere else, that it seemed sensible to give it its own page, and to group all the items here.

Irrigation Notes - This is an account of Adrian’s personal experience over many years of irrigation, and his suggestions and advice based on that experience.  It will probably be found most useful for those who have already been irrigating, who can compare his views with their own experience, but newcomers will probably find that there is plenty in it from which they can usefully learn.  Updated March 2014.

Improving Your Irrigation Technique - Irrigation has long been recommended as a more satisfactory way of managing a stoma than simply catching what comes out, but to obtain the maximum benefit requires a little attention to determining the best technique. This article explains how to go about it, and explains the practicability of achieving an interval of three days in between irrigations. It also draws attention to the benefit that young persons can derive from irrigation: by being just like other people for days at a time.  Updated 31/10/11.

Living with Irrigation - Does irrigation fit easily into your life, or are you trying to fit your life in between irrigations?  The colostomate contemplating or trying irrigation is faced with so much advice, from so many sources, that reading it may easily take up more time than is available.  In Irrigation Notes and Improving Your Irrigation Technique I have tried to offer a logical progression, and I have come to the conclusion that it could now be useful to try to put it all into perspective:  to ensure that irrigation is your servant, not your master.

Using the Braun Irrimatic Pump - A set of notes intended to enable a user who is experienced with irrigation by a suspended bag to assess the potential advantages, and a few minor disadvantages, of switching to the Braun Irrimatic electric pump.

Weight Watching and Irrigation - Are you watching your weight?  If you are, then you will know the importance of weighing yourself at a consistent time in relation to your daily, or more usually weekly, schedule.  But what if you irrigate?  You need to relate also to your irrigation schedule.  Obviously, the contents of your colon will be a maximum just before you irrigate, and should be a minimum after irrigation.  But how long after?  When the stoma has finished discharging its output, ranging usually from reasonably formed faeces to what looks almost like dirty water, that is unlikely to be the end of the process.  A substantial amount of water is likely to remain in the colon, to be removed by the normal action of the colon and discharged as urine.  This is likely to happen over the course of a period of time about which it is almost impossible to be precise, but is likely to range from about four hours for a 1 litre irrigation to eight hours for two litres.  So if you want to determine a truly representative weight for yourself, let your irrigation schedule fix the timing:  the apparent completion of your irrigation  plus four to eight hours.  There are of course those who would argue that a tape measure or a mirror, in other words, size and shape, are alternatives which are unlikely to be affected by irrigation.

Problems of Irrigation During Pregnancy - And Solutions - The editorial team of the Colostomy Association journal “Tidings” were absolutely delighted to receive this wonderful account from Alison of how she managed to overcome the problems which she encountered in irrigating while pregnant.  It is such a great story and they are so grateful that she took the time to write to Tidings.  If there are any other Mums out there with similar stories, Tidings would be very pleased to hear from you at editor@colostomyassociation.org.uk

This article is reproduced by courtesy of Tidings, and Adrian would be delighted to hear from you if you wish to write to him at adrian@stomadata.com

If there are more personal stories, and accounts of how colostomates have overcome irrigation problems, I shall be very happy to reproduce them on this page, to make it as comprehensive a reference as possible.

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For completeness, the Colostomy Association booklet “An Introduction to Irrigation”, can be viewed or downloaded by clicking on the cover illustration on the left, in addition to its availability with the other booklets, on the Colostomy Association Publications page.

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