Managing your bowel and irrigation routine is usually most effective when done at a similar time each or every other day. Establishing a routine that fits around your usual daily activities is a good place to start. Choose a time that is convenient for you and aim to use Aquaflush at this time.
The Aquaflush cone should be lubricated with the supplied water based lubricant and inserted until a comfortable seal is made between the cone and rectal sphincter. If when you start to pump water there is significant leakage, then gently push the cone in a little further, until a good seal is made. The Aquaflush cone should never be pushed in so far as to make it uncomfortable or cause a significant spasm. If in doubt, cease the irrigation and seek advice from your bowel healthcare professional or Aquaflush Clinical Advisor.
The length of time it takes to irrigate is dependant on the individual and the system they are using. For our Lite system, it usually takes between 20 – 35 minutes. For those using our Aquaflush Compact systems, then around 5 –10 minutes is common.
For users of our Aquaflush Lite system, Healthcare Professionals often advise to start with around 350ml and then progress up to 750ml. Some users may require up to 1200ml, so please check with your Healthcare Professional, or Aquaflush Clinical Advisor. For users of the Compact System, the cone holds 120ml of water and this may be enough. Other users may need to repeat the procedure or use our Compact + system for additional water capacity.
We recommend a temperature of 35 – 37 °C. Our Aquaflush Lite and Actif systems water bags have an easy to read temperature strip, to assist you.
This is common, particularly if the user has excess gas (flatulence) in the bowel. The Aquaflush Cone is specifically developed to ensure that the seal between the cone and rectal sphincter is not so tight that the user feels bloated and uncomfortable during irrigation. It also means there may be less chance of internal complications. If the user is heavily constipated the water may not initially pass the stool. If this is the case and happens for more than two consecutive irrigations, it is advisable to consult a bowel healthcare specialist, or Aquaflush Clinical Advisor who may make a further assessment.
This may mean the user is constipated, or alternatively has a clear bowel. If the latter is the case, then it is possible that less frequent irrigations may be required. If a user is dehydrated, then the bowel may absorb some, or all, of the irrigation water. If this is the case then it may be worth irrigating once more and remembering to drink plenty of water between irrigations. (6–8 glasses fluid a day). Using Aquaflush 20–30mins after eating or drinking may help stimulate the natural activity of the bowel.
Each user is individual and over time will gain an understanding of how long their particular irrigation requirements are. Initially, it is advisable to take a little longer than expected, to ensure the irrigation process is complete. For users with little or no sensation that a bowel movement is imminent, then it is advisable to wait for a while after the last evacuation.
Aquaflush Systems pack up neatly into the Aquaflush washbag. These come with the starter kit. Users should ensure they have enough cones to last their time away from home, as it may be diﬃcult to obtain replacements abroad. If flying, always ensure the system is packed in cabin baggage as cases may go missing. It is advisable to use bottled or cooled boiled water in places where the tap water is not deemed safe to drink.
If a user is unwell, or condition changes, it is important they contact their prescribing Healthcare Professional or Aquaflush Clinical Advisor. After bowel or abdominal surgery, users should seek instruction from the professionals involved in completing the procedure, in conjunction with their bowel healthcare professional or Aquaflush Clinical Advisor.
Users may find some water and stools are passed immediately, along with gas (flatulence). If there has been no result after approximately 20 minutes, some users find that gently massaging their abdomen in a clockwise motion, coughing, adjusting position or bending forward helps to get their system moving.
For some, this may be a potential issue when initially starting this procedure. It can take 2–4 weeks to establish a reliable routine. Certainly, when starting the procedure, it is best to leave plenty of time to ensure the process is not rushed. For users who have little or no warning when emptying their bowels, it is good practice to stay close to a toilet, at home, until they are confident in the timing of their procedure. For those who experience intermittent leakage between irrigations, the Renew Insert may offer a useful solution, providing additional security and confidence.