Glossary of Ostomy Terms
The following are common terms and phrases that you may see within me+™ answers emails and articles, and well as during conversations with your healthcare professional.
Accessories: products (such as ostomy covers, skin barrier rings, paste, etc.) that are used to enhance the performance of the pouch
Adhesive Coupling TechnologyTM: a two-piece ostomy pouching system that attaches with a tape-like adhesive rather than flanges (plastic rings that snap together)
Adhesive removers/releasers: Available in wipes or spray, minimise discomfort while helping to remove adhesives from the skin
Barrier wipes/sprays: Provide protective film to skin. These are used prior to applying a skin barrier/wafer.
Bowel: Part of the digestive tract. The small bowel is also called the small intestine, and is located between the stomach and large intestine. The large bowel is also called the large intestine or colon and is located between the small intestine and the rectum.2
Bowel obstruction/Blockage: a clogging of the intestine. This can be caused by food, retained faeces or disease. It’s important to seek medical attention immediately if this occurs.3
Colostomy: a surgically created opening between the large intestine (colon) and the abdominal surface4
Convexity: A base plate/wafer with a curved, cup-like surface that bows inward towards the stoma. Convex products may be used when a stoma empties at or below the skin surface, when there are creases, wrinkles or scars near the stoma, and/or when the abdomen is very soft around the stoma.5
Cut-to-fit base plate: a base plate/wafer that requires a hole to be cut before placing over the stoma
Drainable pouch: has an opening at the bottom, which allows faeces or urine to be drained and re-closed with a tail clip, tap (for urostomy pouches) or InvisiClose self-gripping fastener hook tape
Durahesive®: an extended-wear barrier that provides the ultimate in security and adhesion for people with liquid to semi-liquid output
Durahesive Plus®: an extended-wear barrier available in a one-piece cut-to-fit pouch
Filter: some Convatec pouches have an integral filter that helps release gas build-up from within the pouch
Fistula: an abnormal tube-like passageway between one hollow organ in the body and another hollow organ or the skin7
Flange: ring that is attached to skin barrier and pouch on some two-piece systems. Flanges are designed to snap securely together to join the barrier to the pouch.
Ileostomy: a surgically created opening between the small intestine (ileum) and the abdominal surface9
Irritation: soreness, redness or inflammation of the skin
Opaque: a beige pouch film that helps conceal pouch content
Ostomy: a surgically created opening (called a stoma) in the gastrointestinal system to allow the passage of stool or in the urinary system to pass urine
Pouch: The bag portion of an ostomy appliance that collects and contains urine or stool.
Pouch with tap: drainage taps at the bottom of the pouch to empty urine or liquid faeces
Pre-cut: base plates/wafers that are available pre-sized. These are made to be used without additional cutting or trimming. Some Convatec base plates are available pre-cut to certain stoma sizes
Skin barrier/wafer: the adhesive portion of an ostomy appliance that attaches to the skin. These are applied to the skin around the stoma (called peristomal skin). Helps protect the skin from faeces or urine, which can be very irritating.
Stoma: a surgically-created opening on the abdomen surface, constructed of intestinal tissue. Also commonly called an ostomy. The stoma should be moist and red. Faeses or urine leaves the body through this opening instead of the anus or urethra.10
Stomahesive®: a skin barrier that provides excellent security for people with semi-formed to formed output because of its special formulation that enables it to adhere to both dry and wet skin.
Stomahesive Powder: helps bond to and form a protective barrier on red, irritated or weepy skin.
Temporary colostomy: involves the diverting of the colon to the abdominal wall to create a stoma. Unlike a permanent colostomy, the lower part of the colon and digestive track remains in place within the patient to allow for healing and repair.4
Transparent: clear pouch film; pouch content is visible
Two-piece ostomy pouching system: base plate/wafer and pouch are separate and attached together with a round, plastic ring (called a flange). Pouch can be easily removed without having to remove the base plate/wafer.
Urostomy: a surgically created opening that allows urine to pass. Also called an ileal conduit. 8
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