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Terms to Know: Ostomy Care

Practice Accelerator
July 26, 2023

Ostomate: A person who has an ostomy.

Barrier product: Cream, spray, wipe, or other product used to seal the skin and protect it from breakdown caused by moisture or incontinence.

Laparotomy: A surgical incision created for abdominal surgery, typically exploratory and sometimes an emergency.

Peristomal moisture-associated dermatitis: Inflammation surrounding a stoma resulting from sustained contact with stool or urine. Peristomal moisture-associated dermatitis can develop around any type of stoma. This includes tracheostomies, gastrostomies, urostomies, and colostomies.

Protectant: A material that can be applied to skin as a defense against harmful substances.

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Stoma: The surgical opening of an ostomy on the skin’s surface.

Colectomy: A surgical procedure that removes part or all of the colon.

Colostomy: A colostomy is created by surgically bringing a piece of the colon (large intestine) to the surface of the abdomen to form a stoma.

Urostomy: Also known as an ileal conduit, a urostomy is a surgically created conduit for the passage of urine. In this procedure, using a stent from one or both kidneys, the ureters are attached to “an isolated piece of the small intestine which is brought to the outside of the abdomen to form a stoma.”1,2

Ileostomy: To create an ileostomy, the ileum (farthest part of the small intestine) is brought to the surface of the abdomen to form a stoma. Ileostomies have the highest complication risk.


  1. Testerman-Mitra E. So, Your Patient Has an Ostomy: Caring for the Stoma AND the Patient! Session presented at: SAWC Spring 2023; April 26-30; National Harbor, MD.
  2. Kalibjian C. What is an Ostomy? In: New Ostomy Patient Guide. United Ostomy Associations of America; 2020:6-11.…

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