Stoma terminology

OSTOMY/STOMA- An artificial opening made from a hollow organ usually onto the surface of the skin.

ILEOSTOMY- Where the ileum ( small bowel) is brought through the skin of the belly and waste is expelled into a pouch that is stuck to the skin,usually when the large bowel is removed or left to rest.

COLOSTOMY- Where the colon (large bowel) is brought through the skin of the belly and waste is expelled into a pouch that is stuck to the skin.Again it could be to rest the remainder of the large bowel and rectum or some of the colon has been removed.

TRACHEOSTOMY- An incision in the windpipe to aid breathing for various reasons.

UROSTOMY- A stoma for urine to drain into a pouch.

There are many more stomas from various parts of the body but these are the most common.


BALLOONING- When your pouch fills with air

CLOSED POUCH- A stoma bag that isn’t drainable, usually for a colostomy when people don’t need to empty, but replace their bags when filled, as faeces is more solid.

ILEUS- A common problem for patients after surgery,where the intestines are inactive /slow to start working again.

PERISTOMAL SKIN- This refers to the skin directly around a stoma.

FLANGE- A plastic ring within a two piece pouch system, it sits between the skin and the pouch, it means you can change the pouch more often without taking off the flange (base plate)

DRAINABLE BAG- As it sounds, it enables the wearer to empty the contents of the bag as and when needed, usually ileostomy and urostomy.

LUMEN- The end of the stoma where waste is expelled.

PROTECTIVE SEAL- This is usually a flexible round polo shaped seal that fits snuggly around the stoma before the pouch is put on. It helps with sore skin for healing and leakage onto the peristomal skin.

OVER GRANULATION- When your skin around the stoma produces too many white cells and the skin builds up making it thick in parts. It can occur through irritation.