from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A washing, especially of a hollow organ, such as the stomach or lower bowel, with repeated injections of water.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A laving or washing; in medicine, the process of cleansing by injection of fluids; specifically, the washing out of the stomach, as in gastritis.
  • An obsolete form of lavish.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A washing.
  • noun medicine A washing of a hollow organ.
  • verb medicine To wash a hollow organ

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun washing out a hollow organ (especially the stomach) by flushing with water


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French, from Old French, from laver, to wash, from Latin lavāre; see leu(ə)- in Indo-European roots.]


  • The use of deferoxamine in the lavage solution is controversial.

    Iron Poisoning

  • Aspiration can occur at the time of ingestion, or during vomiting or gastric lavage. 9 Aspiration can occur from minute amounts of hydrocarbon.

    Hydrocarbon Ingestion

  • Early gastrointestinal decontamination, including gastric lavage, may be life-saving.

    Colchicine Poisoning

  • The risk of aspiration during vomiting or lavage far outweighs any benefit from removal of the substance.

    Hydrocarbon Ingestion

  • If there is evidence of iron tablets in the stomach, lavage with a 1-5percent sodium bicarbonate solution may be instituted as it theoretically results in the formation of the less absorbable ferrous carbonate; however, clinical benefits are questionable.

    Iron Poisoning

  • Gastric lavage should be performed with a large bore gastric tube to remove all tablets until the return is clear.


  • Standard decontamination procedures should be followed in the conscious patient, including emesis with syrup of ipecac or gastric lavage, activated charcoal and a cathartic.

    Monamine Oxidase Inhibitors

  • Ipecac's safety in the elderly has not been established, and may even have adverse effects. 18 Gastric lavage and activated charcoal are the preferred methods for GI decontamination in the older adult. 6


  • If bowel sounds are absent, at least one dose of activated charcoal can be administered and then removed by lavage within two hours in order to avoid concretions.


  • Decontamination: Orogastric lavage with saline followed by activated charcoal.

    Aspirin: effects, poisoning


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  • "The eaters are not prodigious trenchermen; they may even have trouble tolerating the unfamiliar food when it is in their mouths, but they mime huge pleasure. When they are to slaver they fill their mouths with jelly and let it dribble out. Sometimes they are droll, they go to bite a tomato which explodes in their faces or they don huge rubbery false teeth which bend about instead of biting. One might wonder if they really eat or if they go backstage to be sick and collect their pay. Does their union demand colonic lavage?"

    - 'The Expense Of Spirit', Germaine Greer in Sunday Times, 1971.

    April 6, 2008