Dictionary > Mineral oil enema

Mineral oil enema

An injection of mineral oil into the rectum. In contrast to other enemas, a mineral oil enema is usually meant to be retained for a longer period of time, usually a minimum of 30 minutes, in order to soften stool present in the colon before evacuation occurs.
The volume given is usually 4 to 6 ounces, which normally isn’t enough to stimulate an immediate bowel movement. After the waiting period, a followup enema is then adminstered to clear the softened stool from the colon. Some patients may experience a bowel movement as a result of the mineral oil enema alone. In those cases the amount of stool passed should be assessed to determine if a followup enema is needed.
Due to the thickness of mineral oil, and the low volumes used in administration, an enema bag or bucket is usually not effective means of delivery. Prepackaged mineral oil enemas are typically used, and are relatively inexpensive. If the prepackaged enema isn’t available, then a bulb type enema syringe is preferable over the enema bag or bucket. Mineral oil is a petroleum based product, and rubber or plastic equipment used in administration will need to be cleaned thoroughly after use.
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