Screen Readers Skip to Content

Ostomies: Types and Pouching Systems

Published : 2015-10-06 - Updated : 2017-07-17
Author : Thomas C. Weiss - Contact: Disabled World

Synopsis: Information regarding the most common specific types of ostomies and one or two-piece pouching systems.

Main Digest

The terms, 'ostomy,' and, 'stoma,' are general descriptive terms that are often times used interchangeably, although they have different meanings. An, 'ostomy,' refers to the surgically created opening in a person's body for the discharge of body wastes. A, 'stoma,' is the actual end of the ureter or small or large bowel that may be seen protruding through the person's abdominal wall. The most common specific types of ostomies are presented below.

An ostomy pouching system or colostomy bag is defined as a prosthetic medical device that provides a means for the collection of waste from a surgically diverted biological system (colon, ileum, bladder) and the creation of a stoma. Pouching systems are most commonly associated with colostomies, ileostomies, and urostomies.

Pouching System Types

Pouching systems can include a one-piece or two-piece system. Both kinds include a skin barrier/wafer or, 'faceplate,' as well as a collection pouch. The pouch attaches to the person's abdomen by the skin barrier and is fitted over and around the stoma to collect the diverted output, either urine or stool. The barrier/wafer is designed to protect the person's skin from the stoma output and to be as neutral to the person's skin as possible. What follows are descriptions of pouch systems.

The above are the major types of pouching systems; there are also a number of styles. For example; there are flat wafers and convex shaped ones. There are very flexible ones and fairly rigid ones. There are barriers with and without adhesive backing and with and without a perimeter of tape. Some manufacturers have introduced drainable pouches with a built-in tail closure that does not require a separate clip. The decision as to what type of system to choose is a personal one aimed at each person's needs. There is no right or wrong choice, although each person must find the system that performs best for them.

Larger mail-order catalogs illustrate the styles and types from all or the majority of suppliers. If a person has any trouble with their current pouching system, it is important for them to discuss the issue with an ostomy nurse or other health care provider to find a system that works better. It is not uncommon to try several types until the best solution for the person is found. There is no reason to remain with a poorly performing or uncomfortable pouching system.

About the Author

Thomas C. Weiss attended college and university courses earning a Masters, Bachelors and two Associate degrees, as well as pursing Disability Studies. As a Nursing Assistant Thomas has assisted people from a variety of racial, religious, gender, class, and age groups by providing care for people with all forms of disabilities from Multiple Sclerosis to Parkinson's; para and quadriplegia to Spina Bifida.

You're reading Disabled World. See our homepage for informative disability news, reviews, sports, stories and how-tos. You can also connect with us on social media such as Twitter and Facebook or learn more about Disabled World on our about us page.

Disclaimer: Disabled World provides general information only. Materials presented are in no way meant to be a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Any 3rd party offering or advertising on does not constitute endorsement by Disabled World. View our Advertising Policy for further information. Please report outdated or inaccurate information to us.

Cite Page: Journal: Disabled World. Language: English (U.S.). Author: Thomas C. Weiss. Electronic Publication Date: 2015-10-06 - Revised: 2017-07-17. Title: Ostomies: Types and Pouching Systems, Source: <a href=>Ostomies: Types and Pouching Systems</a>. Retrieved 2021-06-25, from - Reference: DW#307-11636.