What is it about?

How bowel irrigation can be beneficial in preventing chronic constipation - Trans anal irrigation is a conservative bowel management treatment for constipation which allows washout of the lower bowel, descending colon - up to the splenic flexure, and is used as an alternative to surgery.

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Why is it important?

Chronic constipation can cause episodes of autonomic dysreflexia - a condition that is unique to spinal cord injured patients depending on their level of injury. Autonomic Dysreflexia is the name given to a condition where there is a sudden and potentially lethal rise in blood pressure (BP). It is your body’s way of responding to a problem. It is often triggered by acute pain or some other harmful stimulus within the body. It is unique to spinal cord injury and most commonly affects spinal cord injured people with injuries at or above T6.


i find working with spinal cord injured clients extremely rewarding, and enjoy helping / supporting them to maintain and manage their bladder and bowel symptoms. Trans-anal irrigation can offer a welcome relief from the debilitating symptoms of constipation. It promotes patient motivation and autonomy, along with a willingness to continue. It enables and promotes confidence in establishing a bowel regime and a successful management plan giving back daily control of life / daily activities.

Debbie Lawrence
Hollister Ltd

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Transanal irrigation to treat chronic constipation in patients with spinal cord injury: a case study, British Journal of Nursing, October 2023, Mark Allen Group,
DOI: 10.12968/bjon.2023.32.19.944.
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