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

History Ostomy Bags

Ostomy Glossary

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Wafer

A stoma wafer is a critical part of an ostomy pouch system. It acts as a barrier between the peristomal skin and the ostomy pouch. A wafer protects the stoma and surrounding skin from leakages and residue. For a wafer to be effective, it must fit adequately around the stoma. It is recommended that it be about ⅛ of an inch larger than the stoma. Depending on stoma shape and ostomy patient dexterity, the wafer choice will be pre-cut or cut-to-fit. Depending on stoma height (protuberance), between convex and non-convex. Pre-cut wafers come ready to be affixed needing very little handling. The size is found with a measuring card provided by most ostomy suppliers. Cut-to-fit wafers need to be trimmed with scissors to conform with the stoma’s base. The stoma size and asymmetries are established. The resulting perimeter shape is drawn on the wafer creating a cutting line for the closest fit. When the stoma is flush or retracted, a convex wafer is recommended for better adherence and to avoid leakages. A wafer may come as an individual unit when part of a two-piece pouch system or attached to the bag if part of a one-piece pouch system. An ideal wafer must be flexible, easily removable, and resistant to stool and urine corrosion.

Wound Ostomy Continence Nurse (WOCN)

See Enterostomal Therapy Nurse.

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