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Caregiver has questions on setting up a sitz bath.

Smyrk
Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2011

Hi.  My 84 year old Mom is on day 12 of radiation treatments for anal cancer.  We're anticipating the need for sitz baths so we did a practice one yesterday.  The sitz bath that I bought came with no instructions.  I'm sure it's not a complex process but sometimes I'm a little slow with these things and I want to make sure that I'm doing it right.  I know that I filled it to full yesterday because when she sat down, we had quite the overflow :)
So the sitz bath that we have fits on her toilet when the toilet seat is up.  It came with a bag to put water in with a tube attached to it.  I get how to fill the bag with water and put the tube through a hole so it is in the bath container.  Here are my questions:  do you use the water container with the tube all the time or do you sometimes just sit in the bath?  When you do use the water container with the hose, do you do this to keep the water temperature comfortable and to keep a new flow of water into the bath?  My Mom is a little peanut and sitting on the hard plastic sitz bath was uncomfortable for her.  She's not a complainer though and said that the discomfort of the hard plastic probably won't matter when the burning begins because the relief from the sitz bath will probably feel so good that she won't notice.  Any sitz bath instructions and tips are appreciated.  Thanks!

alis7910
Posts: 80
Joined: Jun 2010

Hi:
According to a nurse at my radiation treatment center, some patients get great relief from the sitz baths and spend a good part of the day in one. personally, it didn't work for me- Ifound it to uncomfortable. My bath tub was too small and low.
How is your mother's bath tub? if it is easy for her to climb in and out of- epson salts are great.It might be more comfortable for her to sit in the tub if it is safe for her.

Smyrk
Posts: 4
Joined: Jan 2011

Thanks for the reply, alis. She is unable to get in and out of a bath tub so that's not an option for her. I did see an inflatable sitz bath on Amazon.com and it was very reasonable so I ordered one to try out.

grandma2selena's picture
grandma2selena
Posts: 199
Joined: Jun 2009

I was going to suggest checking at your local pharmacy or on the Internet to see if you couldn't get a portable sitz bath. I know they use them a lot in the hospitals and nursing homes. I've never heard of an inflatable one though. Let us know what it is like and how durable it is.

Donna M
Posts: 25
Joined: Jul 2010

Order on line they are inexpensive, get two, they fit on the toilet with the seat down and are very comfortable, easy to use and easy to clean. I filled one with soapy water when I was too sore to even touch that area and that cleaned the area pretty well, then I filled the second one with a tea (black or green) sitz bath. No hose, just sit until it cools down. I prefer tea (still using it 4 month post treatment because I still hurt) because the tannic acid in the tea reduces the pain from the burns. I used this my entire treatment and the rad onc never saw any skin problems, other than redness.

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