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I have had a colostomy for over two years . For many years, my stool was pretty well formed and fairly regular I only had to drink prune juice to have a bowel movement. About three years ago, I started to occasionally have to ask for something to help me (milk of Magnesia or lactulose). Then, I had surgery through my back to remove kidney stones twice. After the first surgery, I wasn't having bowel movements, so the hospital doctor put me on alternating days milk of Magnesia and lactulose. In other words, a laxative every day. This worked fine . Then after the second surgery, it started not to work. Since then, I have been on different kinds of laxatives. Most of them have worked at first and then my stool started turning mushy which is unusual for me. I'm now on lactulose two times a day (15-30 cc. ) This worked well at the beginning, but my stool was very much again which is unusual for me, although it is now becoming usual since I'm on the laxatives. I'm totally paralyzed and have a neurogenic bowel, so my bowel has basically stopped working without the laxatives. Now the lactulose is getting so that it's not working as well. I'm just out of point where I don't know what to do. I've asked about irrigation here at the nursing home, but no one seems to know anything about it. What can I do??? What kind of doctor would I see about my colostomy? I've never had any problems, so I've never seen a doctor. If anyone can help me, I would SO appreciate it. Does anyone irrigate? How do you learn how to do it? Do you to where my colostomy is, I always had formed stools until the surgeries. From what I've read, this makes me a good candidate for irrigation. I really need some help here!!!
Colostomy irrigation is a way to regulate bowel movements by emptying the colon at a scheduled time. The process involves infusing water into the colon through the stoma. This stimulates the colon to empty. By repeating this process regularly -- once a day or once every second day -- the colon can be trained to empty with no spillage of waste in between irrigation. Colostomy irrigation also can help you avoid constipation.
Colostomy irrigation is a personal decision. If you are a candidate (see below), your doctor or a nurse who is specially trained to help people with colostomies, will discuss this option with you while you are still in the hospital after your surgery.
Who Is a Candidate for Colostomy Irrigation? Patients with permanent colostomies and whose opening is in the descending or sigmoid portion of the colon are good candidates for irrigation. This is because their stools tend to be more formed. People with irritable bowel syndrome, stomal problems, or stomas in the ascending or transverse colons are less likely to have success with irrigation and are, therefore, not good candidates for colostomy irrigation.
Thanks for your post. It was very helpful in letting me know what irrigation is I have never visited a doctor about my colostomy because I have never had problems I made a mistake when I said I had had a colostomy for over two years...... it's actually over 10 years What kind of doctor takes care of a colostomy? Would it be a G.I. doctor? I'm in a nursing home, and I don't think the doctor here is specialized in colostomies He is more of a general practitioner Thanks again if you can give me an answer for this
Hi, sorry to hear that your having problems and no one in your home has any answers. I had bowel surgery 7 months ago to remove a cancer tumor in my lower bowel, i have a temporary illestomy bag so know a little about who might be able to help. My surgeon is who i see if i have any problems, he is a general colon surgeon, also at the hospital we have stoma nurses that can answer any problems i may have over the phone or i can have an appointment and go see them. Ask your local dr to refer you to a stoma nurse and see if they can help you.
hope this helps.
If you want wonderful advice and fantastic support I strongly recommend you check United Ostomy Association of America site. They have a forum entirely dedicated to irrigation. Its called Irrigation Option for Colostomates. The people on the site are fantastic and they will give you all the help you need. Good luck
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