Helpline We’re here 24 hours a day: 0800 328 4257

Can I irrigate?

The irrigation method of bowel management transforms lives! Irrigation can give colostomates a new sense of freedom and control. However, it needs to be discussed with and taught by a stoma care nurse as it is not a technique that suits everybody. The aim of irrigation is for faeces to be passed only when the bowel is irrigated. There is then usually no need for a colostomy pouch to be worn; the stoma may be covered by a cap or for greater peace of mind a small pouch may be worn. Colostomy irrigation is well established and can be used by patients at home to achieve control over their bowel function, and it should improve their confidence and quality of life.

What is irrigation?

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this technique, irrigation is a method of colostomy management which involves using specialist equipment to introduce warm water into the bowel via the stoma. The water causes muscular contractions (peristalsis) within the bowel which in turn cause expulsion of its contents. Many Ostomates prefer this method of colostomy management as it gives them a sense of control.

You can find out more about irrigation in our Introduction to Irrigation Booklet or by speaking to one of our volunteers. You can also buy a copy of our ‘Colostomy irrigation and you’ DVD in our shop

Downloadable Resources

Stay in touch