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A Journal on Surgery

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Chirurgia 2004 April;17(2):51-4

language: Italian

Irrigation in the colostomized patient rehabilitation. Personal experience and review of the literature

Calò P. G., Manca A., Malloci A., Nicolosi A.


Aim. The presence of a colostomy is a great medical, psychological and esthetic problem for the patient. Methods used to manage and rehabilitate colostomized patients are 2: natural evacuation and irrigation. The aim of this study is to evaluate the results obtained in a personal experience, with the irrigation method.
Methods. One hundred colostomized patients, 65 male, 35 female, aged 26-78 years, 45 submitted to abdominoperineal resection and 55 to Hartmann procedure, were included in this study. Thirty-eight patients were submitted to the irrigation method 1 month after surgical treatment.
Results. Among irrigating patients, 4 (10.5%) obtained a 24 hours continence, 33 (86.9%) a 48 hours continence and 1 patient (2.6%) a 72 hours continence. Duration of the procedure was 45-60 minutes. None of the 38 patients had complications, 8 (21%) had odors and flatus. A total of 30.6% of non-irrigating patients had 1 or 2 daily bowel movements, 33.9% 3 or 4 and 35.5% 5 or more. Odors and flatus were observed in 48.4% of the cases, 32.3% of patients had cutaneous problems or dermatitis.
Conclusion. Our results show that irrigation is an effective, safe and simple method in evacuation control, improves quality of life and is cost-effective for the patient and the community.

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