Self-Irrigation and Discharge Instructions for Patients with an Indiana Pouch - One Tube Irrigation

This information explains how to irrigate your one tube Indiana pouch.

Irrigation is done to prevent mucus from clogging your catheter tubes and from building up on the lining of the pouch. Your nurse will review the steps with you. The card also has general guidelines to follow after you go home. Please speak to your doctor or nurse if you have any questions.

Self-Irrigation Instructions:

Irrigate with 50 - 60 mL (cc), in and out 5 times. Repeat every 4 hours.


  • One 60 mL (cc) syringe
  • Normal saline
  • A small container

  1. Wash your hands.

  2. Open the bottle of saline.

  3. Remove the plunger from the outside of the syringe. Lie down at a 30- to 45-degree angle.

  4. Pull 50 - 60 cc of saline into the syringe. If necessary, put the syringe down on a clean surface. Disconnect the drainage bag from cecostomy tube. Place the syringe into the tube. Very gently push the saline into the tube. This is called flushing. Don’t force the saline.

  5. Pull back gently on the syringe. This is called aspiration. If you pull back a large amount of mucus, repeat steps 4 and 5 until the drainage appears clear. If you meet resistance to aspiration, do not use force. Remove the syringe and reconnect the tube to the drainage bag. Get up and walk around; you will probably see drainage in the bag at this point.

  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5, five times.

  7. Wash your hands.

Please note: You can use the same syringe again. Clean the syringe after each use by pulling the plunger out of the casing and washing both with warm water and soap. Let them air dry on a clean surface.

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Discharge Guidelines:

  • Keep the tube connected to the leg bag during the day. You will need to empty this bag about every 2 hours. At night, connect the tube to the larger drainage bag. This will allow you to sleep through the night without emptying your bag.
  • Keep the tubings connected to your body or leg with tape or Cath-Secures®.
  • Drink eight, 8-ounce glasses of non-caffeinated liquids per day.
  • Do not drink any alcohol until your tubes have been removed.
  • Exercise daily. Walk several times a day (as tolerated) for one-half hour each time.
  • Shower daily. Let warm water run gently over the tubes. Pat dry; do not rub.
  • Wipe any mucus from the stoma with a damp, clean washcloth or a 4” x 4” gauze pad.
  • Do not cover the tube areas with a dressing unless there is drainage.
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Call Your Doctor or Nurse If You:

  • Can’t flush or get any return from your cecostomy tube.
  • Have no urine draining at all.
  • Feel pressure, pain, bloating, cramping, or swelling in your abdomen. (Try to irrigate first to relieve any mucus plug that could be causing these symptoms.)
  • Develop a fever over 101° F (38.3° C).
  • Notice your incision is red, hot, or leaking pus.
  • Notice foul-smelling urine.
  • Develop nausea with vomiting.
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If you have any questions or concerns, talk with a member of your healthcare team. You can reach them Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at ____________________. After 5:00 pm, during the weekend, and on holidays, please call____________________. If there’s no number listed, or you’re not sure, call 212-639-2000.
Self-Irrigation and Discharge Instructions for Patients with an Indiana Pouch - One Tube Irrigation
©2015 Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center - Generated on November 26, 2015