This study was intended to determine whether J-pouch irrigations through the efferent limb of the protective ileostomy stoma after ileoanal pull-through are effective in decreasing high stool frequency after ileostomy closure. Patients undergoing ileoanal pull-through may have high stool frequency after ileostomy closure. J-pouch irrigations through the efferent ileostomy stoma may decrease stool frequency by increasing J-pouch volume, improving storage capacity. The study used a randomized, prospective design in a university hospital outpatient setting. Participants (N = 58) were randomly assigned to control and experimental groups. Effectiveness of irrigation was determined by stool frequency. Both groups were taught Kegel exercises (anal muscle strengthening exercises). The experimental group was taught how and when to irrigate the J-pouch daily; the control group was not. Forty-seven subjects, 25 men and 22 women ranging in age from 15 to 65 years, completed the study. Results of MANOVA indicated no significant between-group difference in the average number of times that subjects performed Kegel exercises; however, there was a significant decrease during the 4-week study period (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference between groups in stool frequency, which decreased with time. There also was no significant effect on nocturnal leakage or satisfaction with surgical outcome. Additional clinical variables that were measured but had no significant effect included eating late, pouch size, and intake of sugar, fiber, bulk-forming products, and antidiarrheal agents. The study did not support the effectiveness of J-pouch irrigation in decreasing stool frequency after ileostomy closure. The cost, time commitment, and burden of performing daily irrigations are not warranted in this patient group.
Reprint requests: Donna S. Thomas, RN, BSN, CETN, Nursing Administration, 50 N. Medical Dr., Salt Lake City, UT 84132.
Copyright © 1996 by the Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society