Ostomy Terminology

Baseplate/faceplate: The part of the pouching system that adheres to the skin around the stoma. The faceplate can be separate from a pouch in a two-piece system or a pouch and faceplate can be one unit in a one-piece system. Also known as a wafer.


Convex: A type of pouching system that is typically used for stomas that are recessed into or flush with the abdominal surface, or when the tissue around the stoma is soft.


Flange: A plastic ring on the wafer (faceplate) that allows a pouch to snap onto the wafer. Some manufacturers also refer to their wafer/faceplate as a “flange.”


One-piece Pouching System: This is a pouch that is already bound to the faceplate/wafer.


Peristomal skin: The skin around your stoma. It is important to keep this skin healthy for good quality of life.


Pouch: This is the part of the ostomy appliance system that collects waste from the stoma.


Skin Barriers: These are products such as pastes, sheets, and powders that can be used to protect the skin around the stoma. They can be applied before attaching the appliance. The faceplate or wafer is also considered to be a skin barrier as it protects the peristomal skin from stoma effluent.


Stoma: Part of the ostomy that is visible on the outside of the body where waste exits. Ideally it is bright red and protrudes 1 to 1 ½ inches off the abdomen. You should regularly check the size and shape of your stoma, as changes in the stoma may indicate a problem.


Tail Closure/Tail Clip: This seals the bottom of a drainable ostomy pouch used for an ileostomy. Sometimes a tail closure is a separate plastic clamp that is attached to the pouch. Other pouches have a folding/Velcro® system that keeps contents from coming out from the bottom of the pouch.


Two-piece Pouching System: This consists of a separate pouch and faceplate or wafer (i.e., the barrier that sticks to your skin) that comprise the ostomy appliance. Different styles of pouches can be attached to the faceplate without having to remove the faceplate adhered to your skin. Using a two-piece system also allows for more frequent pouch-only changes or alternate methods of cleaning out the pouch contents while the wafer stays in place.


Wafer: This is a barrier or faceplate. It has adhesive on one side to stick on your skin around your stoma. The other side is designed to have a pouch attached to it.

Ostomy Terminology