If you have a permanent colostomy, you may wish to consider irrigation as an option for managing your colostomy. Some people find that irrigation provides a useful way of regulating their bowel movements, giving a welcome sense of control and freedom.
The irrigation process involves introducing water into the colon through the stoma, stimulating the colon to empty. By regularly emptying the colon at a particular time every day or two, the colon can be ‘trained’ to empty at certain times. It can take 6-8 weeks for the bowel to become regulated with irrigation – each person is different.
Colostomy irrigation is a personal decision and does not suit everyone – with some medical conditions, irrigation is inadvisable. If you would like to find out more about irrigation, you should discuss it with your stoma care nurse.
To read about one patient’s experience with irrigation, see Richard Allardyce’s story.
You may also find helpful advice at the Colostomy Association.