Abscess A collection of pus caused by an infection in a closed space.
Adhesions The formation of new fibrous tissue as a result of inflammation or injury, which created an
abnormal union of surfaces or organs which are normally separate
Anastamosis The surgical union of two hollow tubular parts (E.G. the ureter and the ileum) to form a
Anoscope A short (3 inch) lighted instrument that is used to visualize the anal canal.
Anus The opening at the lower end of the large intestine.
Appliance Pouch and accessories worn by a person with an Ostomy, over the stoma to collect bodily
Bladder The organ which acts as a collector for urine.
Biopsy Sampling a body tissue for microscopic examination in order determine the nature of a disease
Bowel The intestine's): the part of the digestive tract between the stomach and the anus, composed of
two parts: the Colon or large bowel, and the ileum, or small bowel.
Bowen's Disease A non-invasive skin cancer that involves the skin in and about the anus.
Brooke Ileostomy A technique of constructing a surgical connection between the small intestine and the
skin that was described by Sir Brian Brooke in England.
Cancer The uncontrolled growth of malignant tissue which is characterized by invasion and distant spread
CAT Scan Computerized Axial Tomography.; An computerized x-ray examination the permits detailed non-
invasive examinations of internal organs.
Cecum The first part of the large intestine, located just after the junction of the small intestine with the
Chemotherapy The administration of oral or intravenous anticancer medications.
Cholecystectomy Surgical removal of the gallbladder.
Cholecystitis Inflammation/infection of the gallbladder.
Cholelithiasis Gall stones.
Colitis An inflammatory condition of the large intestine. Also see Ulcerative Colitis
Colon & Rectal Surgery The medical and surgical treatment of diseases of the small and large intestine,
including the rectum and anus.
Colon The large intestine, the final 3-4 feet of the gastrointestinal tract.
Colonoscope The long flexible lighted instrument used for performing Colonoscopy.
Colonoscopy An examination of the large intestine utilizing a long lighted fiber optic or video scope.
Colostomy A surgically constructed connection between the large intestine (colon) and the skin.
Requires an appliance or "bag" to collect intestinal waste.
Congenital Present at birth.
Continent Ileostomy Surgical technique of constructing an intra-abdominal pouch from part of the ileum.
May be referred to as a Koch Pouch, or an ileo-anal reservoir. External appliance not required.
Continent Urostomy Surgical technique of constructing an intra-abdominal pouch from section of the bowel
for retention of urine, after dysfunction or removal of the bladder.. May be referred to as a Koch
Urostomy, or Indiana Pouch.. External appliance not required.
Crohn's Disease An inflammatory immune disease of the intestinal tract that causes thickening of the
intestinal wall and inflammation of the intestinal lining (mucous membrane). Crohn's Disease can cause
problems from the mouth to the anus. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, and weight loss.
Complications include bleeding, obstruction, perforation and development of fistulas.
Defacography A specialized X-Ray examination of the rectum.
Dehydration Loss of fluids (water) or moisture. May be result of diarrhea, heat exposure, intestinal
blockage or certain medications.
Diverticulitis Inflammation of the colon that occurs in the region of existing diverticulosis. This results in
intense pain associated with fever, constipation or diarrhea. Complications of diverticulitis include
intestinal obstruction, perforation, bleeding, and the development of abnormal connections (Fistulas)
between the skin, intestine, bladder or vagina.
Diverticulosis A condition of the large intestines characterized by the development of weakness in the
intestinal wall that permits herniation or outpouching of the intestinal lining. Diverticulosis usually
develops as a result of inadequate dietary fiber.
Dysfunction Lack of normal function Enema A cleansing solution used for preparation for examination of
the large intestine.
Electrolytes Compounds (Sodium, Potassium, Magnesium) which maintain the body's chemical balance.
Ostomates must ensure they have adequate intake of these minerals through fluids and food.
Enterostomal Therapy The treatment of patients with surgically constructed connections between the
intestine or the urinary tract and the skin.
ET Nurse A nurse who has taken specific instruction for the care of persons with ostomies, wounds or
who are incontinent. An ET may assist with pre-and post-operative counseling and instruction.
Episiotomy A surgical incision made in the back wall of the vagina and the skin between the vagina and
the rectum to facilitate childbirth.
Familial Polyposis A genetic (inherited) disease also known as FAP Familial Adenatomous
Polyposis.characterised by a proliferation of polyps in the colon and rectum. If untreated, polyps will
become malignant. Symptoms may include rectal bleeding, mild to moderate diarrhea and weight loss.
Feces Bowel waste, also excrement or stool.
Fiber Fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Fistula An abnormal connection from one organ to another or from the bowel to the abdomen. A fistula
may develop spontaneously, but usually requires surgery to remove.
Gall Bladder The sac-like organ located beneath the liver that stores bile.
Gastroenteritis Inflammation of stomach and bowel. Symptoms may include cramping, diarrhea and
General Surgery The surgical treatment of diseases of the abdomen, abdominal wall (hernias), breast,
and endocrine organs.
Hemorrhage Uncontrolled bleeding.
Hemorrhoids Dilated veins that are located at the anal opening. May be either internal or external.
IBD Inflammatory Bowel Disease: term used to describe a group of bowel diseases which cause an
inflammation in the bowel such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease
Ileitis Inflammation of the small bowel (Ileum)
Ileoanal reservoir see Continent Urostomy
Ileostomy A surgically constructed connection between the small intestine (ileum) and the surface of the
abdomen forming a stoma for the discharge of stool (Fecal Material). Requires an appliance or "bag" to
Ileum Where the small bowel joins the colon (large bowel)
Inflammatory Bowel Disease Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn's Disease.
Inguinal Relating to the groin.
Intestinal Obstruction Blockage of the small or large intestine by tumor, inflammation or adhesions.
Symptoms usually include crampy abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, abdominal distention and
Irrigation Procedure which flushes bowel via insertion of water through stoma into colon. Only suitable
for person with sigmoid or descending colostomy. Should only be undertaken after consultation with
Physician or ET.
J-Pouch A surgically constructed reservoir made from the small intestine and connected to the anal
sphincter muscles in order to restore intestinal continuity and maintain continence in patients undergoing
surgery for ulcerative colitis or Familial Polyposis.
Kidneys Organs which filter impurities and waste from the blood and excrete them via the ureters to the
bladder as urine.
Koch Pouch Also called Continent Ileostomy. A surgically constructed intestinal reservoir with a leak-
free valve that is emptied by insertion of a catheter 3-4 times daily.
Laparoscope A lighted camera used to visualize the organs in the abdominal cavity.
Laparoscopic Referring to surgical procedures that are performed through a laparoscope.
Laparoscopy The technique of visualizing the organs in the abdominal cavity using a camera and light source placed through the abdominal wall via a cylindrical "port."
Laser High energy light that is used for cutting and/or destroying tissue in surgery.
Malignant Cancerous (in reference to tumors)
Mucosa A moist mucous secreting lining of body cavities open to the exterior e.g. the bowel, mouth, nose,
vagina. In bowel, enables contents to "slide".
Ostomate Person who has had surgery resulting in the creation of a stoma.
Ostomy Surgical procedure creating an opening from the bowel or ureters to the abdomen, resulting in a
stoma for the purpose of eliminating waste (Stool/urine).
Paget's Disease A non-invasive skin cancer that involves the skin in and about the anus.
Perforation A hole in the intestine that permits the flow of intestinal contents into the abdominal cavity.
Perineum The area of the body surrounding the genitals (sex organs) and the anus. Also referred to as
the perineal area.
Peristomal Around the stoma e.g. the peristomal skis is the skin around and closest to the stoma.
Polyps A flat or grape-like growth of benign (harmless) or malignant (cancerous) tissue in the intestine
or on the skin.
Proctocolectomy The surgical removal of the colon and rectum.
Prolapse Also called Procidentia. The protrusion of the rectum through the anus. Usually caused by
relaxation of the normal supporting structures of the rectum.
Pruritis Ani Itching of the anus and skin surrounding the anus.
Radiation Therapy X-Ray treatment that is directed against cancers.
Rectum The last 15cm (6 inches) of the intestinal tract.
Restorative Proctocolectomy Surgical Removal of a diseased colon and rectum with the reestablishment of intestinal continuity utilizing an intestinal reservoir. Also called J-Pouch, Parks Pouch,
Ileoanal Pull Through and Ileal Pouch Anal Anastomosis.
Sigmoidoscope A rigid or flexible tube with a light source that is used to examine the last 12-25 inches
of the large intestine.
Sigmoidoscopy A visual examination of the lower 12-25 inches if the large intestine using a lighted
Sphincter The internal and external muscle that surrounds the anus. The sphincter permits continence or
control over intestinal function.
Stenosis Narrowing or constriction of a passageway.
Stoma Opening. When used in reference to ostomy care, it is a segment of bowel or ureter brought to the
surface of the abdomen. It is formed of mucosal tissue, is red and moist in appearance. Ideally it will
protrude about 1.5 - 2.5 cm.
Suppositories Specially made medication that is inserted into the rectum.
Trauma Injury caused by accident, violence e.g. car crash, stabbing. May be a cause of ostomy surgery.
Ulcerative Colitis An Inflammatory Bowel Disease that causes inflammation of the lining of the colon and
typically causes bloody diarrhea.
Ultrasound A noninvasive, painless technique of visualizing the tissues surrounding the rectum using
sound waves that are emitted from a specially shaped anal probe.
Urostomy A surgically constructed method of bypassing a dysfunctional or removed bladder in order to
discharge urine. Most commonly a conduit is surgically created from a section of the ileum and the ureters
are connected to it. The open end of the conduit (ileal conduit) is brought to the surface of the abdomen to
create a stoma.