To help you better understand your stoma appliance and discuss your needs with your stoma care nurse, here is a glossary of commonly used terms.
Barrier: The part of an ostomy pouching system that attaches the appliance to your skin while you are wearing it. The adhesive must ensure close contact with the skin surface and protect it so that output from your stoma does not touch the surrounding skin.
Coupling system: This attaches the barrier to the pouch in a two-piece appliance, allowing the pouch to be changed without changing the barrier. It can either be mechanical, or adhesive.
Convexity: A specially shaped baseplate with an oval shell that puts light pressure on the skin around the stoma. It is designed to accommodate a stoma that is difficult to manage, for example, a retracted stoma that lies below the skin.
Extended wear adhesive: An adhesive that can be worn for a longer time period, or if there is “aggressive” output from your stoma. Some types of ileostomy or urostomy can have output that breaks down standard adhesives too quickly. Extended wear adhesives are generally used with two-piece appliances.
Filter: From time to time, your stoma releases gas. The filter included in the appliance has a deodorizing action which helps ensure there is no odor, one of the things that people often worry about. It also controls the release of the deodorized wind, so that your bag doesn’t inflate (which is also called ‘ballooning’).
Non-return valve: Urostomy appliances have a non-return valve to stop urine from flowing back to the stoma and help prevent urinary infections.