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.
Abdomen: area of the body between the chest and the hips in the front part of the body that contains the digestive organs.1
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 opening: the pre-cut hole in the skin barrier/wafer
Barrier wipes/sprays: Provide protective film to skin. These are used prior to applying a base plate/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 faecal matter or disease. It’s important to seek medical attention immediately if this occurs.3
Closed-end pouch: a pouch that has no opening at the bottom and is removed and discarded after each use
Colostomy: a surgically created opening between the large intestine (colon) and the abdominal surface. 4
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
Dehydration: a lack of water in the body. This can be a serious concern for people with an ostomy and should be monitored closely.6
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
Eakin Cohesive seals: a donut-shaped accessory placed around the stoma; acts as a gasket or seal to help protect the skin around the stoma
Film: the materials used to manufacture the pouch. All Convatec pouches have built-in layers that help reduce the rustling noise under clothing, and a built-in odour-barrier
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 base plate/wafer and pouch on some two-piece systems. Flanges are designed to snap securely together to join the base plate to the pouch.
Ileal conduit: a surgically created opening that allows urine to pass. Also called a urostomy.8
Ileostomy: a surgically created opening between the small intestine (ileum) and the abdominal surface9
Irritation: soreness, redness or inflammation of the skin
Night drainage: a container that may be attached to a urinary pouch to manage drainage of urine during sleep.
One-piece ostomy pouching system: the base plate/wafer and pouch are made as one unit
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 faeces or in the urinary system to pass urine
Peristomal skin: the skin surrounding a stoma
Pouch: The bag portion of an ostomy appliance that collects and contains urine or faeces
Pouch with tap: drainage taps at the bottom of the pouch to empty urine or liquid stool
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 stool 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. Faeces 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.
Tape collar: The outer section of some base plates/wafers. Convatec base plates are available with or without tape collars.
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 skin barrier/wafer.
Urologist: a healthcare professional who specialises in urinary diseases and disorders
Urostomy: a surgically created opening that allows urine to pass. Also called an ileal conduit. 8
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Glossary of Ostomy Terms
Common terms and phrases that you may see within me+™ answers emails and articles, and well as during conversations with your healthcare professional.Read more
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1. WebMD- Accessed 2023, January 19 The abdomen (Human anatomy) - Picture, function, parts, definition, and more. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/picture-of-the-abdomen
2. Understanding how the bowel works. Accessed 2023, January 19. Bladder & Bowel Community. https://www.bladderandbowel.org/bowel/bowel-resources/how-the-bowel-works/
3. Bowel obstruction: What is it and how is it treated?Accessed 2023, January 16. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/what-is-bowel-obstruction
4. Colostomy information L United ostomy associations of America. Accessed 2023, January 16. United Ostomy Associations of America. https://www.ostomy.org/colostomy/
5. Hoeflok, J., Salvadalena, G., Pridham, S., Droste, W., McNichol, L., & Gray, M. (2017). Use of convexity in ostomy care. Journal of Wound, Ostomy & Continence Nursing, 44(1), 55-62. https://doi.org/10.1097/won.0000000000000291
6. Preventing dehydration. (n.d.). UCSF Ostomy Education Portal. Accessed 2023, January 19 https://ostomy.ucsf.edu/for-patients/ileostomy/preventing-dehydration.aspx
7. What is a fistula? Learn about fistula symptoms and types of fistulas. Accessed 2023, January 16. National Association For Continence. https://nafc.org/fistula/
8. Urostomy (ileal conduit). (n.d.). Cancer Research UK. Accessed 2023. January 19 https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/bladder-cancer/treatment/invasive/surgery/urostomy-ileal-conduit
9. Ileostomy information L United ostomy associations of America. Accessed 2023, January 16. United Ostomy Associations of America. https://www.ostomy.org/ileostomy/
10. What is an ostomy? L United ostomy associations of America. Accessed 2023, January 19. United Ostomy Associations of America. https://www.ostomy.org/what-is-an-ostomy/