Glossary of Terms


Products that are specifically designed to ease the problems ostomates face during their stoma care routine, such as leakage, sore skin and difficulty with pouch removal. Products such as stoma paste, medical adhesive remover and flange extenders.


When your bag inflates due to the build up of wind.

Closed pouch

A pouch that is not drainable from the bottom. Usually when it needs to be emptied, it is removed and thrown away. Most often a person with a colostomy with formed stool would use this type of pouch.


Another term for the large intestine.


A surgically created opening into the large intestine or colon.


A flange with a domed plateau that can be used for ostomates with poorly sited, recessed or retracted stomas.


A flange that moulds to the body’s contours, providing a leak free and secure solution for ostomates with parastomal hernias, peristomal irregularities and slightly recessed stomas. A flange that reduces the risk of discomfort, pressure and skin trauma sometimes associated with rigid, conventional convexity products.

Cutting guide

A card used to measure the stoma at the base. This information is useful in selecting the right size pouch.

Drainable pouch

A pouch that opens from the bottom to empty the contents. A drainable pouch requires a clamp or the integral closure system to keep it closed at the bottom. A person with a colostomy or ileostomy would use this type of pouch.


A device that is secured to a night drainage bag tube and inserted into a urostomy pouch to ensure that a continuous flow of urine travels from the pouch to the night drainage bag, even if the urostomy pouch twists or kinks during the night.


A disc of activated carbon in an ostomy pouch that allows gas to escape and be deodorised. Filters are also often designed to reduce ballooning, pancaking and leakage.


An adhesive plate to secure an ostomy pouch to the body. Some flanges come attached to the pouch as a one-piece system. Other pouches can be removed from the flange on the body as part of a twopiece system.

Healthcare professional

Generic term to describe a variety of people involved in health care: doctor, stoma care nurse (SCN) and pharmacist.


A surgically created opening through the abdomen that leads into the small intestine.


Last section of the small intestine before it connects to the colon.


Any inflammation or soreness. In ostomy care, it usually refers to the skin. Skin irritation may present as reddened, open and/or moist skin.

Night drainage bag

A large collection bag for urine. A person with a urostomy can connect their urostomy pouch to a night drainage bag.

Non-return valve

Urostomy pouches have a non-return valve to stop urine from flowing back to the stoma and help prevent urinary infections.

One-piece pouch

A one-piece system includes a flange and pouch that are already attached. The flange, which is made of natural materials, keeps the bag secure but is also gentle on the skin.


A surgically created opening into the gastrointestinal (bowel) or urinary system. This is a general term and is sometimes used interchangeably with the word stoma, which is a Greek word for mouth or opening.


‘Ostomate’ is a term used for someone who has a stoma. This can be divided into the different types of stoma – so as well as being an ostomate you can be referred to as a ‘colostomate’, ‘ileostomate’ or urostomate’. These words will generally only be used by stoma-related companies and organisations.


This is when the output collects around the stoma and can squeeze between the flange and the skin instead of going into the pouch.

Peristomal skin

This refers to the skin immediately around the stoma.


The bag that collects the output from the stoma.


The flange opening on these products has already been cut for added convenience. The sizes are listed and should be selected based upon your stoma size. Ideal if your stoma has a round shape.


Stoma care nurse. A nurse with specialised education in the care of people with stomas.

Starter Hole

A small starter hole in the centre of the flange where scissors can be placed to make cutting easier. A starter hole product is ideal if the stoma is still changing sizes or if the shape of the stoma is not round.


A surgically created opening into the gastrointestinal (bowel) or urinary system. This is a general term and is sometimes used interchangeably with the word ostomy. The stoma is red, moist and is not painful.


Term used to define waste material from the bowel. Also known as faeces.

Two-piece pouch

A two-piece system includes a flange and removable pouch. Both have a plastic ring coupling and adhesive system which can be securely attached. This allows for the bag to be changed whilst the flange can stay on the body.


A surgically created opening (usually on the abdomen) that allows urine to flow out of the body. A urostomy may also be called a urinary diversion.

Urostomy pouch

This type of pouch has a drain tap or spout at the end since it is designed to drain liquid contents (usually urine) from a pouch. A person with a urostomy or urinary diversion would use this type of pouch.

Wear time

This is the length of time a product can be worn before the bag needs changing. Wear time varies widely and is often dependent on the individual and product. The goal of selecting an appropriate ostomy product is to provide a predictable and consistent wear time.