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Thread: rectal stool after colostomy

  1. #1

    rectal stool after colostomy

    I am 16 months post colostomy w/great success until today I had stool come from my rectum, enough to make a mess on my pants. I didnt think that was possible. surgeon is to call me tomorrow but I'm wondering if anyone has had this happen. I'm so bummed about this, thought "accidents' were a thing of the past.

  2. #2
    It could be mucus build up in the rectum. It still looks like stool at times. Dr recommended that I do enema once a month. I irrigate instead. Since my ostomy is a temp ostomy and I still have my colon, I have to sit on the toilet to irrigate. I have a sigmoid loop ostomy so when I insert the cone in to my stoma to infuse the water then I will have some of the water come from the rectum during my irrigation session. It removes the mucus that way so I don't have to worry about it. Are you able to irrigate? Otherwise you might have to do an occasional enema to get the mucus. Might want to call your surgeon just to make sure that it's mucus.
    DFW TEXAS- T-10 since March 20th, 1994

  3. #3
    agree with above from offroader. If you have a colostomy, you probably have 8 inches of what is called a 'Hartmann's pouch' which is a dead ene remnant of your rectum that ends at your anus. It doesn't like not being connected to the plumbing and it continues to make mucous. Often surgeons fail to tell the patients that they have to irrigate that stuff out or it can cause something called "disuse colitis" - the inspisated mucous build up irritates the rectum and in me causes intense neuropathic pain - how fun ! Then I irrigate it out and it goes away. I try to irrigate the Hartmann pouch every 2 weeks. If I forget, I will have neuropathic pain out of the blue and as I have no sensation, have no idea where it is coming from. Then I remember that it has been a while since I irrigated that stuff out - duh ! ! But I continually forget. No one told me about that till I suffered from neuropathic pain for a year or 2 and I figured it out on my own. So that is the deal, You got to rinse thet stuff occasionally and it isn't stool - it is mucous. But it can smell like something died up there... Good luck, arndog.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ChesBay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by offroaderswife View Post
    I irrigate instead. Since my ostomy is a temp ostomy and I still have my colon, I have to sit on the toilet to irrigate. I have a sigmoid loop ostomy so when I insert the cone in to my stoma to infuse the water then I will have some of the water come from the rectum during my irrigation session. It removes the mucus that way so I don't have to worry about it.
    Offroader,
    From what I read it takes people about an hour to irrigate. (I realize everyone is different.)

    Does this mean sitting on the toilet for an hour so water / mucous can drain from rectum? I was under the impression that someone could irrigate from wheelchair.

    Thanks,
    ches

  5. #5
    The rectum is still open and not closed so it is possible. Especially with watery stool or mucuous.
    CWO

  6. #6
    Hi Ches, my rectum is still open and I still have my colon since I only have a temp ostomy that I've decided to keep permanently. I sit on a cushioned toilet seat for about 20-30 minutes while I infuse the water(I do pressure releases when I remove the cone and before and after the 2nd infusion) Once the water in infused I sit in my chair and let the irrigation sleeve hang in the toilet or clip sleeve and roam about doing what i need to do. Takes me 30-45 minutes total. The water coming from the rectum during the water infusion keeps the mucus cleaned out naturally since I irrigate every 24-48 hours.
    DFW TEXAS- T-10 since March 20th, 1994

  7. #7
    If I don't have that problem, do I need to be concerned about irrigating. Never had any stuff come out the rearend. I also have the Sigmoid loop type C.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ChesBay's Avatar
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    Thanks Offroader,

    Sounds like a good system that works for you & also helps me understand how irrigation can work.
    Ches

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Madsen View Post
    If I don't have that problem, do I need to be concerned about irrigating. Never had any stuff come out the rearend. I also have the Sigmoid loop type C.

    Maybe not irrigation, per say, but an occassional enema to clear any mucus build up might be needed. My Dr said a gloved finger would work too. I love the freedom of irrigation so it works for me. My dr also mentioned that some people may have more mucus build up than others.
    DFW TEXAS- T-10 since March 20th, 1994

  10. #10
    Agree about irrigation and freedom. I can get away with irrigation every 3rd day. that is one hour every 3rd day. While irrigating I can read, use a computer, put a clamp on the sleeve and go outside, raid the fridge, etc. My ostomy is one of my best possessions. For me, it is the fact that the built up mucous in my residual rectum triggers neuropathic pain that is annoying.Once a week is probably the best for rinsing out the rectal stump/hartmans pouch. If you thrown in cathing,irrigation, and rinsing out the stump, that is sticking a lot of tubes in a lot of holes down there. What a trip this whole SCI thing is!

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