Bowel programs would be an integral part of day to day activity
during hospital stay and rehabilitation. It is important
to try to get your bowel into a regular emptying system that
suits you as well. Most people perform their bowel program at a
time of day that fits in with their prior bowel habits and
current lifestyle. The program usually begins with insertion of
either a suppository or a mini-enema, followed by a waiting
period of approximately 15-20 minutes to allow the stimulant to
work. This part of the program should, preferably, be done on
the commode or toilet seat.
After the waiting period, digital
stimulation is done every 10-15 minutes until the rectum is
empty. In order to avoid damage to the delicate rectal tissue,
no more than four digital stimulations should be performed in
any one session. Those with a flaccid bowel frequently omit the
suppository or mini-enema and start their bowel programs with
digital stimulation or manual removal. Most bowel programs
require 30-60 minutes to complete.
Bowel programs vary from person to person according to their
individual preferences and needs. Some people use only half of a
suppository, some require two suppositories, and some use no
suppository or mini-enema at all. Some choose to do the entire
program in bed, while others sit on the toilet from the
beginning. Some find that the program works better if they can
eat or drink a warm beverage while it is in progress, others
find that this is not helpful. What is most important is that
you discover what works best for you.
What does the bowel do?
Methods for emptying the bowel
Factors that can affect
What to avoid
What to do if...