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Ballooning occurs when the stoma bag inflates excessively due to gas. This can cause the bag to come away from the body.

Barrier Films, Sprays and Creams:

A skin care product that is applied to the skin around the stoma before attaching the stoma bag to the body. It helps to prevent sore skin by creating a barrier to protect the skin from bag leaks and the adhesive on the flange.

Bowel Cancer:

Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, develops from the inner lining of the bowel and is usually preceded by growths called polyps, which may become invasive cancer if undetected. Depending on where the cancer begins, bowel cancer can be called colon or rectal cancer.

Closed Bags:

Usually worn by those with a colostomy who tend to have a well formed and more solid output. Closed stoma bags must be fully removed and changed each time.


A surgical operation in which the colon (large intestine) is shortened to remove a damaged or diseased part, and the cut end diverted to an opening in the abdominal wall.

Crohn's Disease:

Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes chronic inflammation of the GI tract, which extends from your stomach all the way down to your anus. Different areas of the GI tract can be affected in different people, and it often spreads into deepers layers of the bowel.

Drainable Bags:

Worn by those with a more fluid output, such as those with an ileostomy. Those with a colostomy may also choose to wear them if their output tends to be more fluid. The bag is drained of its contents several times per day through an outlet at the bottom of the bag, which is secured by a velcro or a clip.


An opening in your pouch with a filter that subtracts odour from the gas, before it is let out from the pouch.


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 two-piece system.


A surgical operation in which a damaged or diseased part is removed from the ileum (small intestine), and the cut end diverted to an artificial opening in the abdominal wall.

One-Piece System:

An all-in-one pouch that sticks directly to your skin using adhesive. The whole appliance is disposed of after use.

Ostomy Pouch:

An appliance connected to your ostomy that collects waste from the colon or bladder. The pouch can either be a one-piece or a two-piece system.


Pancaking happens when there is a vacuum in the stoma bag and the bag sticks together. This stops the output from dropping to the bottom of the bag and can block the filter. There is then a risk that the pouch will be pushed off the abdomen and cause a leak. When the output collects around the stoma and squeezes between the flange and the skin instead of going into the bag.

Parastomal Hernia:

When a bulge appears under the skin due to the intestines pushing through the muscles surrounding the stoma. This can make applying stoma appliances difficult, but concave stoma bags can help.


Not all stomas are permanent. Depending on the type and the reason for having stoma surgery, the individual may be able to undergo reversal surgery after a period of time, to reconnect the ends of the bowel and close the stoma.


The terms stoma and ostomy are often used interchangeably. A stoma is a surgically created opening in the body that allows faeces or urine to pass from either the intestine or from the urinary tract. The three main types of stoma are 'colostomy', 'ileostomy' and 'urostomy'. Those who undergo stoma surgery are commonly referred to as ostomates.

Two-Piece System:

A two-piece system consists of two components: a baseplate and a disposable pouch, which is attached to the baseplate using an adhesive or a mechanical coupling system.

Ulcerative Colitis:

A long-term condition where the colon and rectum become inflamed. The colon is the large intestine (bowel) and the rectum is the end of the bowel. Small ulcers can develop on the colon's lining, and can bleed and produce pus.


A surgically created opening in the abdominal wall through which urine passes. A urostomy may be performed when the bladder is either not functioning or has to be removed.