Literally "to wash". Etymology: French (from Middle French) from laver; from Latin lavare
As a medical term, lavage means to rinse out a body cavity, whether natural or due to injury or illness.
Wounds and lacerations are often lavaged with normal saline or an antibiotic solution prior to exploration and repair. Ears, nasal passages, and eyes are often lavvaged to remove foreign bodies. Gastric lavage is used to remove pill fragments in overdoses or debris during endoscopy. An enema is lavage of the rectum or distal colon.
Surgeons often use lavage during surgical procedures in the chest or abdominal cavities to remove blood and in some cases infected or necrotic material. Peritoneal lavage is used after trauma to determine if internal organs have been disrupted or injured.
Lavage is a commonly used procedure in the practice of medicine.