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Abdomen: area of the body between the chest and the hips in the anterior part of the body that contains the digestive organs.

Abrasion: Wearing away of skin from friction or trauma.

Abscess: Accumulation of pus formed in tissue as a result of infection.

Absorption: process of the digestive system to acquire nutrients from food.

ActiveLife: The only one-piece system available (from ConvaTec) with both stomahesive and durahesive skin barriers.  Its flexible integrated skin barrier allows it to mold to the body contours.

Adhesive Coupling Technology: a two piece ostomy pouching system, by ConvaTec, that attaches with a tape like adhesive rather than plastic rings snapping together.

AF300 Filter: "AF" stands for Air Flow and "300" represents the 300 mm2 air flow surface area on every AF300 Filter. Available on Hollister ostomy pouches.

Alginate: An absorptive dressing derived from brown seaweed.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis: may result from an allergic reaction to a substance in the skin barrier, pouch, or tape.  Itching, burning, stinging, redness, and areas of moist, denuded skin are the most common types of reactions. Adjusting the ostomy appliance to eliminate contact between the skin and the offending product can treat allergic contact dermatitis.  One popular item used is a pouch cover to go over the ostomy pouch.

AllKare Protective Barrier Wipe: provides a protective barrier film for skin in contact with skin barriers, adhesive tapes, and hydrocolloid dressings.

AllKare Adhesive Remover Wipe: aids in the removal of all adhesives, including skin barrier tapes and hydrocolloid dressings.

Ascending Colostomy: the effluent is liquid and enzymatic high volume.

Ball-of-Foot Pain: Often from irritation to metatarsals and the fat pad on the underside of the foot.

Barrier Wipe: Describes a skin protective wipe available from most manufacturers that creates a transparent protective barrier when wiped onto the skin. This barrier is a synthetic film that protects sensitive skin from friction, body fluids, and the trauma of removin.

Budin Toe Splint: Aligns crooked toes. Reduces pain and friction associated with crooked, overlapping and/or flexible hammer toes with this flexible slip on pad. Adjustable loop gently encourages proper toe alignment with a cushion for the foot.

Bunions: thickening, deformity of the bone and/or inflammation of tissues around the big toe joint, sometimes accompanied by a crooked big toe.

Calluses: hardened areas of skin that thicken to protect skin and underlying bones from excess pressure and friction. Solutions are pads, cushions, files, change shoes that rub, add arch supports or ball-of-foot pads to shoes to redistribute forces and alter foot function. Moisturizing creams or exfoliating scrubs.

Candida (Candida Albicans infection): Candida albicans, formerly known as monilia, is an infection of the peristomal skin resulting from an overabundance of yeast like fungi normally found in the gastrointestinal tract. This infection can cause itching and redness around the stoma.  People with ostomies are prone to candida infections because the peristomal area is warm, moist, and usually covered which are all conducive to a good environment for candida albicans. Treatment may involve topical antifungal medications.

Cellulitis: Inflammation of tissue characterized by redness and edema.

Closed Ostomy Pouch: a pouch without a spout or a clamp. Quick and easy to discard.  It must be removed from the skin barrier to be emptied.

Collagen: Protein within the skin and connective tissue.

Closed End Pouch: an ostomy pouch that has no opening at the bottom and is removed and discarded after each use.  Usually used by someone with a colostomy.

Colostomy: a sugically created opening betwen the large intestine (colon) and the abdominal surface. An individual with a colostomy usually wears a closed end pouch.

Colostomy Association: a UK registered charity representing people with colostomies. The group provides support and information to people who may have one in the future or already has a colostomy. According to the Colostomy Association there are over 110,000 ostomates living in the UK and more than 6,400 permanent ostomy operations performed each year.

Comfort Panels: ConvaTec ostomy pouches are available with one sided and two sided comfort panels for the ostomate's convenience.  The panel is a piece of material covering the pouch that does not stick to the skin making the pouch easier to wear.

ComfortWear Pouch Panels: lining over the plastic of the pouch to enhance comfort and discretion. The soft pouch panels may be on one or both sides of the pouch.

Convexity: Convex ostomy products can 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. 

Convex Skin Barrier: may be used when the stoma does not protrude from the abdomen.  The skin barrier is shaped to press more deeply around the stoma.

Corns: hardened spots of thickened skin on toes that protect skin adn underlying bones from excess pressure and friction. Solutions are pads, cushions, files, change shoes that rub, add arch supports to footwear to redistribute forces and alter foot function.

Crohn's Disease: a disease causing inflammation of the digestive tract most often the lower small intestine or ileum.  The inflammation causes swelling and pain which can cause frequent emptying of the intestines.  In Crohn’s disease, all layers of the intestine may be involved, and normal healthy bowel can be found between sections of diseased bowel.

Crooked Toes: flexible or rigidly crooked toes can cause irritation and pain.

Cut-to-Fit Skin Barrier: may be used when the stoma does not protrude from the abdomen. The skin barrier is shaped to press more deeply around the stoma.

Debridement:  Removal of foreign material and contaminated tissue from a wound.

Dehiscence: Separation of wound edges.

Dehydration: results when the body does not have as much water and fluids as it should.

Denude: Removal or loss of superficial skin layers.

Dermis: located beneath (deep) to the epidermis and provides strength and structural support and is highly vascularized.

Descending Colostomy: the effluent is soft to semi-formed.

Drainable Pouch: a pouch with an opening at the bottom which allows stool or urine to be drained and re-closed with some sort of integrated closure or clamp used to keep the pouch closed until it's time to empty it.

Durahesive: an extended wear barrier that provides the ultimate in security and adhesion for people with liquid to semi-liquid outputs.  Durahesive skin barriers are made by ConvaTec.

Durahesive Plus: an extended wear skin barrier available in a one piece cut-to-fit ostomy pouch.  Durahesive Plus skin barriers are made by ConvaTec.

Eakin Cohesive Seal: a filling or sealing agent on irregular contours, difficult to pouch areas, reddened skin, and around retracted stomas.

Edema: Swelling

Electrolytes: minerals in blood and other body fluids that carry an electric charge.  Common electrolytes are calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, and sodium.

Enterostomal Therapy (ET): a health professional trained to care for people with an ostomy such as a colostomy, ileostomy, and urostomy.

Enzymes: enzymes are proteins that serve as catalysts to speed up or slow down chemical reactions.

Epidermis: outermost layer of the skin.

Erythema: diffuse redness of the skin.

Eschar: thick, leathery black crust; it is nonviable tissue and is colonized with bacteria.

Esteem synergy: A two piece ostomy system by ConvaTec with an innovative resealable adhesive coupling technology that connects the pouch to the skin barrier. It provides the low profile of a one-piece system with the versatility of a two-piece system.

Excoriation: linear scratches on the skin.

Extended Wear Skin Barriers: skin barriers with special additives that achieve a stronger adhesive seal and are more resistant to breakdown. It is a preferred skin barrier type for people with ileostomies and urostomies.  It is not recommended to use skin prepping agents under extended wear skin barriers.

Exudate: wound fluid or drainage.

Faceplate: an older term used to describe the now more commonly used term, wafer or skin barrier.

Feces: also known as stool. Feces is the waste product of the digestive system.

Film: all ConvaTec ostomy pouches have built in layers that help reduce the rustling noise under clothing, and a built in odor barrier.

Filter: allows the passage of gas from the ostomy pouch but not odor.  Ostomy pouches with filters are offered by ConvaTec, Hollister, Coloplast, Cymed, and Marlen.

Fistula: an abnormal tube-like passageway between one hollow organ in the body and another hollow organ, or the skin. 

Flange: a piece on the skin barrier or flange (a plastic ring) that meets the corresponding piece on the ostomy pouch, in a 2 piece ostomy system, to make a sealed connection similar to Tupperware™.

Flat Skin Barrier: may be used when the stoma does protrude from the abdomen.

Flextend Skin Barrier: Flextend is an extended wear, synthetic skin barrier by Hollister, which is designed to be the most resistant to discharge.

FlexWear Skin Barrier: FlexWear is a standard wear, synthetic skin barrier by Hollister, which is designed to be worn more than one day. FlexWear barrier is more resistant to breakdown than a SoftFlex skin barrier.

Floating Flange: allows for fingers to be put under the flange for suport while attaching the pouch to the barrier.

Folliculitis: an inflammation of the hair follicles and can occur around the stoma.  Indicated by redness at the base of the hair follicles around the stoma area. This condition is caused by removal of the hair from its follicle by aggressive adhesives, resulting in irritation or infection.  Folliculitis can be avoided by removing hair from the peristomal area with scissors or trimming razor making sure that hair doesn't interfere with making a good ostomy pouch seal.

Foot Odor: smelly shoes, socks and feet, often caused by bacteria and excess perspiration.

Foot Fungus: athlete's foot causes skin itching, cracking, peeling and odor.

FOW: a nonprofit group founded in 1986, Friends of Ostomates Worldwide is volunteer run and provides ostomy supplies and educational materials to help ostomates in need throughout the world.

Friction: rubbing that causes mechanical trauma to the skin.

Full-thickness: tissue destruction extending through the dermis to involve subcutaneous level and perhaps muscle, connective tissue, or bone.

Granulation: formation of connective tissue and many new capillaries in a full-thickness wound.

Hammer Toes: flexible or rigid bent-under toes can cause toe-tip and toe-top corns, ball fo foot pain.

Heel Pain: most often the result of a strain of the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot causing discomfort and pain.

Hydrocolloid dressing: a category of wound dressings composed of materials such as gelatin, pectin, and carboxymethylcellulose that provide a moist healing environment and adhere to the skin around the wound.

Hydrogel: water or glycerin based gels impregnated gauzes or sheet dressings. Hydrogels maintain a moist healing environment and absorb a minimal amount of wound exudate.

Hydrophilic: attracting moisture.

Ileostomy: an opening between a segment of the small intestine and the abdominal surface. Most often in the lower third portion called the ileum. Effluent is semi-liquid to pasty and enzymatic.

Insoluble Fiber: Adds bulk to stool and helps to increase transit time. Found in wheat bran, vegetables and whole grains.

Intubation: also known as a breathing tube. Refers to the placement of a flexible tube into a person’s airway.

Irrigation: a procedure used to control the time of elimination from a colostomy.  It is a good way to achieve continence for 24 to 48 hours.  

JWOCN: an abbreviation for the Journal of Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nursing. The official journal for the Wound Ostomy Continence Nurses Society (WOCN) providing a resource for nurses specializing in the care of ostomies, wounds, pressure ulcers, fistulas, vascular ulcers and incontinence.

Karaya Skin Barrier: karaya is a natural barrier used for sensitive skin or, in some cases, where there is sensitivity to synthetic products.

Lactose: a sugar found in milk and milk products.

Large Intestine: also known as the large bowel or colon is composed of five sections: Cecum, Ascending Colon, Transverse Colon, Descending Colon, and Sigmoid Colon. Food passed to the large intestine is in a semi-liquid form. Water and electrolytes are absorbed by the large intestine before the food becomes waste or stool. The stool is then passed to the rectum where it is held until it is excreted through the anus.

Lock ‘n Roll Closure: a closure system for colostomy and ileostomy pouches made by Hollister. The Lock ‘n Roll microseal closure is on drainable pouches and eliminates the need for a pouch clamp. To seal the pouch, the user simply folds the pouch tail three times and presses the fasteners firmly along the closure strip.

Low Residue Diet: sometimes called a fiber diet. This diet limits fruits, vegetables, and grains in an effort to limit the amount of undigested material passing through the digestive system. This type of diet might be recommended if the bowel is narrowed due to a tumor, inflammatory disease, or bowel surgery.

Maceration: softening of tissue by soaking in fluids.

Necrotic: devitalized tissue that may appear yellow and moist, gray or dark and leathery.

Neuromoa: inflammation or benign growth of a nerve, most commonly at the base of the third or fourth toes.

Nu-Form Support Belt:  an ostomy belt made by Nu-Hope Laboratories that has a belt ring that allows the elastic to form around buldges and other body shapes naturally. Recommended for large hernias and those that no longer reduce flat.  Available as Regular Elastic or Cool Comfort.

Odor Barrier Pouch: odor-barrier pouch is highly resistant in allowing odors to pass through the pouch film.  The Odor-Barrier quality increases confidence when wearing a pouch.

One-Piece Ostomy Pouching System: an ostomy appliance where the skin barrier/wafer and the pouch are made as one.

Original Flat Panel Belt: an ostomy belt made by Nu-Hope Laboratories that has a soft vinyl ring placed in a no-stretch panel.  This belt is recommended for pouch support and hernia prevention.  Available as Regular Elastic or Cool Comfort.

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.

Ostomy Accessories: products that assist in stoma management that include belts, pouch covers, convex inserts, filters, deodorizers, clips/closures, creams, skin barrier 4x4, adhesive removers, barrier films, tapes, powders, and hydrocolloids.

Ostomy Appliance Belt: provides added security for obese patients and others who desire extra support.

Partial-thickness: wounds that extend through the epidermis and may involve the dermis.

Peri-stoma: the area immediately around the stoma.

Peristomal Skin: the skin surrounding the stoma.

Peristomal Skin Excoriation: also known as an Irritant Dermatitis. A frequent problem encountered is peristomal skin excoriation. Red, weepy, possibly bleeding, sore areas of the skin around the stoma characterize this condition. It causes discomfort to touch the area or to apply a pouch when the skin is broken. Peristomal skin excoriation is caused by skin barrier or pouch leakage, allergies, infection, radiation, skin stripping when too strong an adhesive is used, or when a skin barrier is removed in a rough manner.

Peri-wound: the area immediately around the wound.

Pouch With Spout: drainage tap or spout at the bottom of the pouch to empty urine or liquid stool.  Present in urostomy pouches.

Pre-Cut: some skin barriers/wafers are available pre-cut to certain stoma sizes. This can also be calld a pre-sized skin barrier/wafer.

Pressure Ulcer Stages: there are 6 main stages beginning with "suspected deep tissue injury" and then Stage I, Stage II, Stage III, Stage IV, and finally Unstageable.

Pseudoverrucous Leasions (Hyperplasia, aka PEH): epidermal hyperplasia is thickened, wart like skin in the immediate peristomal area around urinary diversions. It is caused by too large an opening in the skin barrier or opening on the pouch, resulting in exposure of the skin to urine.  It is treated by remeasuring the stoma and fitting with a skin barrier with a proper opening.

Pump Bump: rubbing of the heel against the insides of shoes causing pain and blisters.

QuietWear Fabric: the ostomy pouch fabric and film are laminated together to help eliminate uncomfortable noise so it is as gentle as soft fabric.

Rustle-Free Pouch: Rustle-Free Pouch provides for ultimate discretion since the pouch does not make noise during normal wear.

Sigmoid Colostomy: the effluent is semi-formed/formed similar to an intact colon.

Skin Barrier/Wafer: round or square shaped with a sticky side that is applied to the skin around the stoma (peristomal skin).  Helps protect the skin from stool or urine, which can be very irritating.  Two versions exist and can be basically described as a standard wear or extended wear skin barrier.

Small Intestine: also known as the small bowel, the small intestine is a portion of gastrointestinal system that is divided into three sections, the duodenum, the jejunum, and the ileum. Relatively undigested food enters the small intestine from the stomach in a semi-liquid form. Enzymes and bile secreted from the pancreas and gall bladder to assist in break-down of food. Mucus secreted by the intestinal wall protects the GI tract lining from the enzymes and facilitates the passage of food. As food moves through the small intestine it is churned and broken down into nutrients that are absorbed into the blood stream and used for energy. The result at the end of the small intestine is in a liquid form and full of pancreatic enzymes. 

SoftFlex Skin Barrier: SoftFlex is a synthetic skin barrier, which provides gentle adhesive attachment to the skin.  It's designed to limit skin damage with frequent removal and can be changed daily (or more frequently).

Standard Wear Skin Barrier: provides a gentle adhesive attachment to the skin. These skin barriers absorb less and disintegrate faster than extended wear skin barreirs.

Stoma: a surgically created opening on the abdomen surface.  Also, commonly called an ostomy, colostomy, ileostomy, or urostomy.  Stool or urine leaves the body through this opening instead of the anus or urethra. 

A stoma serves as a new site for basic bodily function. There are four common stoma types:

  • ·         Urostomy (bladder or urinary system)
  • ·         Colostomy (large bowel)
  • ·         Ileostomy (small bowel)
  • ·         Tracheostomy (trachea)

Stoma types: there are several types of stomas depending on their peristomal skin surroundings:  They include: protruding stoma, flush stoma, retracted stoma, and "other" (loop stoma, hernia, prolapse, stent, and ostomy in or near an incision).

Stomahesive: a standard wear skin barrier that provides great peristomal skin protection 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 Paste: fills and protects peristomal skin; helps prevent leakage and skin irritation; aids in increasing ostomy skin barrier wear time.

Stomahesive Powder: provides a protective barrier for weepy, denuded skin.

Stomahesive Skin Barrier Wafer: fills gaps in uneen peristomal skin to help protect stoma against effluent. Adheres to normal and weepy, denuded skin.

Stomahesive Strips: fill and help protect uneven skin next to a stoma, fistula, or wound. Double sided adhesive permits stacking to fill deep areas.

Subcutaneous Tissue: composed of major vessels, lymphatics, fat, and connective tissue and this provides insulation and nutritional support for the skin.

Tape Collar: ConvaTec skin barriers are available with or without tape collars.

The Phoenix Magazine: a magazine dedicated to patients with ostomies and providing information and management techniques. Serving people with: colostomy, ileostomy, urostomy and continent diversion (J-pouch, Kock pouch, Indiana pouch).

Tidings: a quarterly magazine produced for colostomates and their families and produced by the Colostomy Association located in the United Kingdom.

Toe Straightener: Budin toe splints encourage proper toe alignment to reduce pain and friction associated with crooked, overlapping and/or flexible hammer toes.

Transit Time: a term referring to how long it takes for food to move from the mouth to the anus. This amount of time varies in people.

Transverse Colostomy: the effluent is pasty and soft.

Two Piece Ostomy Pouching System: an ostomy appliance system where the skin barrier/wafer and pouch are separate and attached together with a round, plastic ring (called a flange).  Ostomy pouch can be easily removed without also haveing to remove the skin barrier/wafer.  Hollister's two piece ostomy pouch system is called, New Image.  ConvaTec has the following lines: SUR-FIT Natura, Esteem synergy, and SUR-FIT AutoLock. Coloplast has the following lines: Click, Flex, Assura AC Pediatric, Assura Pediatric, Assura Mechanical Coupling, and Adhesive Coupling.

Ulcer: with reference to wound care, it is a loss of epidermis/dermis or mucous membrane with definite margins. Types of ulcers include: pressure, venous, arterial, and neuropathic.

Urine Crystal Formation (alkaline encrustation): urine crystal formation is a condition cause by alkaline urine.  Appearing white, gritty, crystalline deposits on the stoma, peristomal skin and/or lining of the ostomy pouch. Urine crystals can be dissolved by using a dilute solution of vinegar and water to wash the stoma and peristomal skin. To treat, reduce the alkalinity and acidify the urine by increased fluid intake and perhaps vitamin c supplements (sometimes recommended by healthcare professionals).

Urostomy: an opening into the urinary tract. Effluent is urine.

United Ostomy Associations of America (UOAA): Once known as the UOA (United Ostomy Association) from 1962 to 2005, the UOAA is a national network for bowel and urinary diversion support groups in the United States.

Ureters: a ureter is a duct carrying urine from each kidney to the bladder.

Urostomy Pouch: a pouch with a drain valve at the bottom so that urine can be emptied quickly and easily.

Wafer: also known as a skin barrier or faceplate. The wafer is combined with the pouch in the one piece ostomy systems and is a separate piece in the two piece ostomy systems. The wafer adheres to the skin of the abdomen. The flange is a piece of the wafer that joins with the pouch to form a sealed connection.

Warts: round, colored, textured skin spots caused by a virus. Generally harmless, but sometimes sensitive to pressure. Solutions are pads, cushions, wart removers, professional treatment.

Wear Time: wear time is the length of time a product can be worn before failure.  Wear time varies widely based upon a variety of factors such as

Wound: a break in the integrity of the skin.

Wound, Ostomy and Continence Nurses Society (WOCN): a professional nursing society to provide education and research to persons caring for patients with ostomies, wounds, and incontinence.