What is an Ostomy?

Ostomy     |    Colostomy     |    Ileostomy     |    Urostomy     |    Choose the Right Ostomy Pouch

What is Ostomy?

An ostomy refers to the surgically created opening in the body for the discharge of body wastes. A stoma is the actual end of the ureter or the small or large bowel that can be seen protruding through the abdominal wall. The most common specific types of ostomies are described below.

What are the Types of Ostomies

There are three main types of ostomies divided on the location and the aim of the stoma:

A colostomy surgery or colostomy is when a portion of the colon (large intestine) or the rectum is removed and the remaining colon is brought to the abdominal wall. The surgically created opening of the colon results in a stoma. It may further be defined by the portion of the colon involved and/or its permanence.

A colostomy is needed for conditions such as 'necrotizing enterocolitis' (an acute inflammatory disease of the bowel), 'imperforate anus' (absence of anal opening) or Hirschsprung's Disease (a condition in which the nerves controlling bowel function are abnormal).

Colostomy Pouches

A surgically created opening in the small intestine, an ileostomy is usually at the end of the ileum. The intestine is brought through the abdominal wall to form a stoma. Ileostomies may be temporary or permanent and may involve removal of all or part of the entire colon.

An ileostomy is needed when the large intestine (colon) cannot be used and must be by-passed or removed.

Ileostomy Pouches

Urostomy is a general term for a surgical procedure that diverts urine away from a diseased or defective bladder. The ileal or cecal conduit procedures are the most common urostomies. Either a section at the end of the small bowel (ileum) or at the beginning of the large intestine (cecum) is surgically removed and relocated as a passageway for urine to pass from the kidneys to the outside of the body through a stoma. It may include the removal of the diseased bladder.

Urostomy is needed when the bladder is not working properly. There are four major reasons for performing a urinary diversion, the most common being bladder cancer. Other reasons include birth defects, neurological dysfunction or chronic inflammation of the bladder.

Urostomy Pouches

How to Choose the Right Pouching System for an Ostomy?

One of the first steps while choosing a pouching system for your ostomy is talking to an ostomy nurse or medical professional who can analyze your ostomy and recommend to you the right pouch. Choosing the right pouch involves taking into consideration a few important steps, they are:

  • Odor-resistant – Your pouching system should be able to control odors. Since ostomies are connected to your excretory system it is important for your pouching system to control the odors that arise from the excretory system.
  • Protect the skin - The skin around the stoma is generally delicate and hence it is important for the pouching system to protect the skin from irritation, rashes, and redness.
  • Discreet – Discreetness is very important when it comes to an ostomy. Hence the pouching system should be able to perform its function while keeping the stoma and itself discreet. Easy wearing and removal – The ostomy can be vulnerable to damage and so the pouching system should be easy to remove and wear without any hassle or damage to the ostomy or the skin near the ostomy.
  • Leakproof – The last but the most important quality of a good pouching system is that it should be leakproof. Any leakage of waste from the pouch or the ostomy can be embarrassing for the user and hence the pouch should be secure to the point.

Types of Pouching Systems for Different Ostomies

There are two major pouching systems on needs for different ostomies. They are:

One Piece Pouching Systems: This pouching system has the pouch and the barrier in one piece and can be directly attached to the stoma. They are usually recommended for symmetrical or small shaped ostomies where the one piece pouching system can be easy to use, wear, remove, and secure enough to hold the waste.

Two Piece Pouching System: Two piece pouching systems are ones where the pouch and the barrier are attached separately to the stoma. They are generally recommended for large stomas and irregular shaped stomas. The skin barriers for two piece systems can be cut according to the shape of the stoma and hence are more secure. One has to have a good working knowledge of how to manage a stoma to use two piece pouching systems

What are My Options for Pouching Systems and Accessories?

At Shop Ostomy Supplies, one can choose from a wide range of one piece pouching systems, two piece pouching systems, pediatric pouching systems, skin barriers, skin wafers, ostomy skin care for the skin around the stoma, and accessories such as ostomy belts, stoma caps, mounting rings, faceplates, irrigation supplies, stoma cutter, absorbent gels, etc.


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