Colonic lavage, also known as colonic irrigation, is a procedure that uses water to cleanse the colon or large intestine. Due to the risk of infection, colonic lavage is declared a 'skin penetration procedure', which means that the premises and procedures must comply with the Public Health Regulation, 2012.
This fact sheet has been developed by NSW Health to assist colonic lavage practitioners and operators of colonic lavage clinics to adopt good infection control practices. Good infection control will prevent the spread of disease, as well as enable colonic lavage practitioners and operators to meet the requirements of the Public Health Regulation, 2012.
Procedures that involve skin penetration carry a greater risk of spreading disease because microorganisms (germs) can easily enter the body when the skin barrier is broken. Colonic lavage is an invasive procedure. If strict hygienic procedures are not followed, a variety of bacterial and viral diseases can be spread from one client to another or even to many others causing an outbreak of disease.