Ostomy Glossary: Colostomy, Ileostomy, Urostomy Information (P)

History Ostomy Bags

Ostomy Glossary

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Parastomal Hernia

During ostomy surgery an incision is made into the fascia to reach the abdominal cavity. After surgery that incision should be sealed. A parastomal hernia consists on a segment of intestine penetrating an opening or defect left after ostomy surgery. Unfortunately incisions oftentimes do not close properly or might be prone to reopening at anytime making constant the risks of developing parastomal hernias. Parastomal hernias require use of a parastomal hernia belt. Ideally parastomal belts should be used preventively. When the hernia grows uncontained, when there is pain or risks of viscera entrapment, corrective surgery will be needed.

Permanent Ostomy

It occurs when it becomes unfeasible to reconnect the digestive system because of disease (mainly inflammatory bowel disease) or when the rectum is compromised (rectal cancer). Under these circumstances, the ostomy becomes permanent and the patient must use an ostomy bag for good.

Peristomal Abscess

An infection from contact with effluent that develops on the peristomal skin. It creates a pink rash that eventually swells and accumulates pus. Peristomal abscesses must be drained, cleaned, and monitored.

Peristomal Candidiasis

The unchecked growth of Candida albicans. Candida is a harmless yeast when controlled by our immune system. After surgery or when exposed to the right growth environment it might develop excessively and create inflammations and infections on the peristomal skin.

Peristomal Dermatitis

It’s an inflammation of the skin on the peristomal area. About ⅔ of ostomy patients have experienced Peristomal Dermatitis, at least temporarily. It is important that your ostomy professional can establish the right diagnosis. The wrong treatment might lead to a chronic condition that could end up in surgery. .Allergic Peristomal Contact Dermatitis is when there is an allergic reaction to the ostomy supplies in use (ostomy bag or barrier system). Irritant Peristomal Contact Dermatitis is when an irritation ensues from contact with stool or urine residue.

Peristomal Pyoderma Gangrenosum

Also called solely Pyoderma Gangrenosum, it is a rare skin disorder that leads to ulcers. IBD sufferers account for about half of all pyoderma gangrenosum occurrences. Its diagnosis can only be determined by exclusion of other pathologies. The diagnosis is made by excluding other causes. The condition is painful and requires prompt treatment to avoid larger ulceration. If there are signs of pyoderma gangrenosum, ostomy patients must not use convex ostomy bag systems.

Peristomal Skin

The 3 to 4 inch perimeter of skin surface surrounding an abdominal stoma.

Peristomal Ulcerations

They are not common but once contracted they are difficult to contain. Peristomal Ulcerations may surface as a result of the ostomy surgery, infections around the peristomal skin, fistulas, IBD outbreak, and pyoderma gangrenosum. They present themselves in colostomy and ileostomy patients with Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis. They cause painful burning sensations. Peristomal Ulcerations redden the peristomal skin in patches and cause dilation of capillaries below the skin. They also create mucocutaneous junction discharge. Peristomal ulcers are a major obstacle to optimal ostomy bag use. Ostomy patients with peristomal ulcers cannot use convex ostomy supplies.

Peristomal Varices

Also called Caput Medusa, it refers to the abnormal formation of veins around the peristomal skin. It is related to portal hypertension or liver problems from cirrhosis. Caput Medusa forces blood into adjacent paraumbilical veins creating undue pressure and leading to distention and radiation upwards over the peristomal area. The Medusa name is an analogy to Medusa’s hair. Ostomy patients with Caput Medusa should not wear convex ostomy supplies.

Pouching Systems

Also referred to as Ostomy Bag Systems, they are comprised of a skin barrier and a collection device to collect drainage (effluent) and protect the skin. Pouching systems are either one-piece or two-piece. In one piece systems the skin barrier is attached to the pouch and in two piece systems it comes as a separate piece. In both systems the pouch and skin barrier affix on the peristomal skin area around the stoma and collect stool or urine.

Pre-Cut Ostomy Bag

It is a bag or pouch where the skin barrier comes with a pre-made hole that fits the stoma. It works well for circular stomas or when you are already familiar with a specific bag system.


Surgical removal of the colon and rectum.

Prolapsed Stoma

Please see Telescoping Stoma.

Pseudoverrucous Lesions

Also denominated Hyperplasia and Chronic Papillomatous Dermatitis, are atypical irritations of the peristomal skin resulting from exposure to stool and urine. Pseudoverrucous Lesions emerge as numerous blemishes or irregular shaped whitish moles. They are a major obstacle to reaching optimal ostomy bag or skin barrier sealing. Continued leakages sustain the condition. If untreated, it can turn chronic, cause scarring, and further complicate future management of the peristomal area. Ileostomy and urostomy patients present greater susceptibility to these outbreaks.

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