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Ostomy irrigation supply; bag, each

HCPCS code

Name of the Procedure

Ostomy Irrigation Supply: Ostomy Irrigation Bag (HCPCS Code: A4398)


Ostomy irrigation is a method used by some individuals with a colostomy to regulate bowel movements by flushing the colon with water. This procedure involves the use of an ostomy irrigation bag to introduce water into the stoma, which stimulates the colon to expel its contents.


Ostomy irrigation aims to help people with a colostomy manage their bowel movements more predictably, reduce the need for ostomy bags, and improve their quality of life. By regulating bowel movements, individuals can have more control over their schedule and avoid unexpected leakage or discomfort.


Ostomy irrigation is suitable for individuals with a descending or sigmoid colostomy. It is generally recommended for those who have good manual dexterity, can be compliant with a regular irrigation routine, and do not have a history of bowel obstruction, severe diarrhea, or other complications.


Before starting ostomy irrigation, patients should receive thorough education and training from a healthcare professional. No special fasting or medication adjustments are typically required. Patients might undergo an initial assessment to ensure they are good candidates for this procedure.

Procedure Description

  1. Gather Supplies: Ostomy irrigation bag, water container, catheter, and clamp.
  2. Prepare Water: Fill the water container with lukewarm water.
  3. Set Up: Hang the water container on a hook or stand where it can flow easily.
  4. Attach the Catheter: Connect the irrigation bag to the catheter.
  5. Insert Catheter: Gently insert the catheter into the stoma.
  6. Clamp and Flow: Release the clamp to allow water to flow into the stoma, then clamp again to stop.
  7. Wait: Wait for the water to stimulate bowel movements and empty into the irrigation bag.
  8. Clean Up: Remove the catheter, clean the stoma area, and dispose of used equipment properly.

No anesthesia or sedation is required for this procedure.


The complete process, including preparation and clean-up, typically takes about 45 minutes to an hour.


Ostomy irrigation is usually performed at home by the patient after proper training, although initial sessions may be conducted in a hospital or outpatient clinic.


Initially, a specialized nurse or ostomy care professional will train the patient. After training, the patient typically carries out the procedure independently.

Risks and Complications

  • Common Risks: Minor irritation or discomfort at the stoma site.
  • Rare Risks: Stoma damage, bowel perforation, or infections. Proper technique and hygiene minimize these risks.


  • Regulated Bowel Movements: Improved predictability and fewer episodes of leakage.
  • Quality of Life: Increased control over daily activities and reduced dependence on ostomy bags.
  • The benefits are typically realized within a few weeks of consistent practice.


No significant recovery time is required after each irrigation session. Patients can resume normal activities immediately. Regular follow-up with a healthcare professional ensures the process is effective and any issues are promptly addressed.


  • Regular Ostomy Bags: Using disposable or reusable ostomy pouches.
  • Stoma Caps: For short-term stoma management.
  • Medication: Laxatives or stool softeners to regulate bowel movements.

    Pros of ostomy irrigation include reduced need for pouches and increased predictability; cons include the time commitment and initial learning curve.

Patient Experience

Patients might feel a mild sensation as water enters the colon and a sense of relief as the bowel empties. Comfort measures include ensuring water temperature is comfortable and relaxing during the wait period. Over time, patients often find they experience less discomfort and greater ease with the procedure.

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