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Patience is essential when starting TAI

Establishing a regular bathroom routine doesn't always come easy for people living with fecal incontinence, chronic constipation or time-consuming bowel management procedures. One well-proven and highly effective solution can be transanal irrigation (TAI), which empties the bowel by introducing water into the rectum via a specialized catheter. The water encourages bowel movements and also softens the stool, so the bowel can be emptied efficiently.

How long does TAI take to be effective?

Be prepared and give yourself time to change habits – both mentally and physically – and the bowel to adapt to your new routines. You also need time to find your optimal treating parameters. It is important to have realistic expectations of what TAI can do for you and how long it may take to achieve satisfactory results. A commitment of up to 4–12 weeks is necessary in order to stabilize the bowel and to develop a good individualized defecation routine.

A new bowel management routine can take time, but it is worth it!

succeed with TAI independent wheelchair user outside full width

Training is key

Education and personalization is key to success in TAI, and comprehensive training is very important when you start. Ideally, your healthcare provider should guide you through your first session and make adjustments as you mature in your bowel management routine.

  • It’s important to choose the right device; one that suits you and allows for individualization of the therapy.
  • The treatment should be tailored for you, in terms of frequency, water amount and balloon volume etc.
  • Keep in mind that not all TAI equipment are exactly comparable in terms of mechanism of action, safety and efficacy.

Safety

Manual pump

When performing TAI, the colon needs to be air- and water-tight. In patients with no sphincter control, the catheters must be equipped with a balloon to establish this.

A manual pump device ensures safety by utilizing a valve on the water storage bag cover. This valve opens when pressure exceeds potentially hazardous values for the colon, keeping the user safe and the procedure effective.
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