GEELONG OSTOMY  Inc

P.O Box 1069 Grovedale Victoria Australia 3216

Ph: 03 5243 3664  Fax: 03 5243 6335  e-mail: goinc@geelongostomy.com.au










Use this glossary to help define some of the medical terms that you may encounter.

Scroll down or click on the appropriate letter below.

INDEX     A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z

A

 

 

Abdominoperineal resection (APR)

 

A surgical procedure in which some of the organs of the abdomen are removed to prevent the further spread of disease.

Abscess

 

A collection of Pus caused by an infection in a closed space.

Acute

 

Occurring suddenly or over a short period of time.

Adhesion

 

Scar tissue that binds connecting surfaces; often causes complications, such as pain or blockages

Adjuvant Treatment

 

A treatment which aids or assists another.

Aetiology

 

The study of the overall cause of a disease.

Allergy

 

An negative response to a substance..

Anaemia

 

A decrease in (a) the number of circulating red blood cells  or (b) the amount of haemoglobin in the blood.

Anaesthetic

 

A drug or agent that is used to remove the sensation of pain.

Analgesic

 

A drug that relieves or removes pain without causing loss of consciousness.

Anastomosis

 

Surgical join between hollow organs.

Antibiotic

 

A drug that is used to treat diseases caused by bacteria.

Antibody

 

A substance produced by the body's immune system that helps to defend the body against intruders.

Antiemetic

 

An agent that prevents or reduces nausea and vomiting.

Antifungal

 

An agent that is effective against fungal infections.

Antigen

 

A substance which, when it enters the body, stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies.

Appliance

 

Collection device (pouch)

Aspiration

 

The act of inhaling a liquid or solid substance into the lungs.

 

 

 

B

 

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Benign

 

Not malignant. Not cancerous.

Benign Tumour

 

An abnormal swelling or growth that is unlikely to recur after it has been removed.

Biopsy

 

The removal of a sample of body tissue for microscopic examination in order determine the nature of a disease.

Bladder

 

A muscular sac that stores urine.

Bowel

 

The part of the gastro-intestinal track between the stomach and anus.

Bowel Obstruction

 

Blockage or clogging of the intestine.

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.

 

 

 

C

 

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Cancer 

 

The uncontrolled growth of malignant tissue which is characterized by invasion and distant spread (metastasis).

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 large intestine.

Chemotherapy

 

The administration of oral or intravenous anticancer medications.

Chronic

 

Persisting over a long period of time.

Colectomy

 

Partial or total removal of the colon.

Colitis

 

An inflammatory condition of the large intestine.

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. Starts at the end f the small intestine and continues to the rectum.

Colon Conduit

 

This is a specific type of urinary diversion. A segment of colon is used as a pipeline conduit) to divert urine from the urethers and out through a stoma.

Colonoscope

 

The long flexible lighted instrument used for performing Colonoscopy. 

Colonoscopy

 

An examination of the large intestine (colon) utilizing a colonoscope for visual examination, tissue biopsy and removal of small growths.

Colorectal

 

See Bowel

Colostomy

 

A surgical procedure which diverts the colon to an artificial opening in the abdominal wall.  This permits elimination of faeces into special colostomy appliances (pouches)

Congenital

 

Present at birth.

Continent Ileostomy

 

Internal reservoir, with a nipple valve, constructed from the small intestine for collection of faecal drainage.

Continent Urostomy

 

Internal reservoir, with a nipple valve, constructed from the small intestine for collection of urinary drainage.

Convexity

 

This is the outward curving of the portion of the appliance that has contact with the skin.

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.

Cure

 

The complete or permanent abolition of a disease in an individual.

Cyst

 

Any closed cavity or sac which contains a liquid or semi-solid material.

Cystoscope

 

An instrument that is passed into the bladder, through the urethra, to allow visual examination of the inside of the bladder.  It can be used to take tissue for biopsy and to remove small growths.

 

 

 

D

 

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Defacography

 

A specialized X-Ray examination of the rectum.

Dehydration

 

The loss of total body water

Discharge

 

Generic term to refer to the output from a stoma.

Diverticulitis

 

Inflammation of the colon that occurs in the region of existing diverticulosis. This results in intense pain associated with fever, constipation or diarrhea.

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.

Dysfunction

 

Lack of normal function

 

 

 

E

 

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Electrolytes

 

Salts and minerals needed by the body for health

Enema

 

A cleansing solution used for preparation for examination of the large intestine.

Erythema

 

Redness of the skin.

Erythrocyte

 

A red blood cell, which owes its red colour to haemoglobin.

 

 

 

F

 

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Fiber

 

Fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Fissure-in-Ano

 

A tear or ulcer in the lining of the anal canal

Fistula

 

An abnormal connection between the intestine and the skin

Fistula-in-Ano (Anal Fistula).

 

An abnormal connection between the anal canal and the skin surrounding the anus.

 

 

 

G

 

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Gastro-intestinal tract

 

Consists of the mouth, oesophagus, stomach, bowel and anus

Granulocyte

 

White blood cell. They help the body fight infection.

 

 

 

H

 

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Healthcare Professional

 

Generic term to describe a lot of different people involved in providing health care. eg Doctor, Stomal Therapy Nurse, Oncologist, Pharmacist

Haemoglobin

 

A substance in the blood which carries oxygen from the lungs to the cells of the body

Hemorrhage

 

Uncontrolled bleeding.

Hernia

 

A defect in the abdominal wall.

 

 

 

I

 

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Ileal Conduit

 

Ostomy created to bring urine to the surface of the abdomen. Utilises portion of the ileum, into which urethers have been transplanted.

Ileo-Anal Reservoir

 

Internal reservoir from small intestine, attached to the anus. The procedure involves removal of colon with the anus preserved but sphincter control is essential

Ileostomy

 

A surgically constructed connection between the small intestine (ileum) and the skin.   This permits elimination of intestinal waste. into special ileostomy appliances (pouches)

Ileum

 

Last section of the small intestine before it connects to the colon.

Immune

 

Referring to a complex series of chemical events that occur in relation to an allergic reaction, the result of which is inflammation.

Immune System

 

The body's natural defence mechanism.

Immunology

 

The branch of medicine dealing with the immune system

Immunosuppression

 

Suppressed functioning of the immune system.  A decrease in the body's natural defence mechanism.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

 

Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn's Disease.

Inguinal

 

Relating to the groin.

interferon

 

A protein produced by the body in response to viral infection

Intestinal Obstruction

 

Blockage of the small or large intestine by tumor, inflammation or adhesions.

Irrigation

 

Washing of a wound or cavity using a stream of fluid.  An enema.

Irritation

 

Any inflammation or soreness. In stoma care it is usually a skin irritation which has the skin reddened, open and/or moist.

 

 

 

J

 

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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.

 

 

 

K

 

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Kidney

 

One of the two organs that sit in the abdomen on either side of the spine, in the region of the small of the back.  The kidneys form urine by filtering waste products from the blood.

Koch Pouch

 

See Continent Ileostomy.

 

 

 

L

 

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Large Intestine

 

The last part of the digestive tract and is divided into the caecum, colon and rectum

Laparoscope 

 

A lighted camera used to visualize the organs in the abdominal cavity.

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."

Laparotomy

 

The surgical opening of the abdomen, either to examine the internal organs or as a prelude to further surgery.

Laser

 

High energy light that is used for cutting and/or destroying tissue in surgery.

Lesion

 

An abnormality in tissue caused by disease or injury.

 

 

 

M

 

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Malignant

 

Tending to spread and eventually resulting in death if untreated. Cancerous

Mucous

 

A viscous suspension that is normally secreted by the body.  Mucous in the bowel helps with lubrication. may be seen in the discharge of a colostomy or urostomy.

 

 

 

N

 

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Nausea

 

A symptom resulting from the inclination to vomit.

Nephrostomy

 

Insertion of tube into kidney to drain urine to the abdominal surface. 

 

 

 

O

 

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Occult

 

Hidden.

Obstruction

 

A blockage in a structure, often the intestine.

Oncology

 

The branch of medicine that studies tumours.

Ostomate

 

General term given to any one who has a stoma.

Ostomist

 

Modern version of Ostomate.

Ostomy

 

A general term referring to any surgical operation that creates a stoma or artificial opening.

 

 

 

P

 

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Pelvic Extenteration

 

Surgical removal of all the organs of the pelvis.

Pelvis

 

Area of the body surrounded by the hips which includes the bladder, prostrate, uterus and other organs.

Perforation

 

A hole in the intestine that permits the flow of intestinal contents into the abdominal cavity.

Perineal Wound

 

Opening resulting from the removal of the rectum.

Peristalsis

 

Wave-like muscle contractions and relaxations by which the contents of the intestine is propelled through the entire intestinal tract.

Peristomal skin

 

The skin immediately around the stoma.

Pouch

 

The appliance (bag) that collects the discharge from the stoma

Proctocolectomy

 

The surgical removal of the colon and rectum.

Procidentia

 

The protrusion of the rectum through the anus. Usually caused by relaxation of the normal supporting structures of the rectum.

Prolapse

 

Outward telescoping of the stoma.

Pruritis Ani

 

Itching of the anus and skin surrounding the anus.

Pull-Through

 

Attaching the small bowel to the top of rectum stump after removing the colon and retaining the rectum.

 

 

 

Q

 

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R

 

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Rectum

 

The last part of the large intestine leading to the anus.

Relapse

 

the return of a disease after a period of improvement or remission.

Remission

 

The decrease or disappearance of signs and symptoms of a disease.

Renal

 

pertaining to the kidneys.

Resection

 

The surgical removal of a part of an organ or other structure.

Retraction

 

A pulling down of the stoma so that it is below skin level.

Reversal

 

Surgical procedure the closes the stoma and the patient returns to normal bowel procedures.

Revision

 

Surgical relocation of the stoma to a new site, or reconstruction of stoma at the present site.

 

 

 

S

 

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Sigmoid Colon

 

this is the last part of the large bowel before the rectum.

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 scope.

Small Bowel

 

The part of the gastro-intestinal tract between the stomach and the colon.

Small Intestine

 

See Small Bowel.

Sphincter

 

The internal and external muscle that surrounds the anus. The sphincter permits continence or control over intestinal function.

Stenosis

 

Narrowing or stricture of a duct or canal.  Narrowing or excessive tightness of the stoma

Stricture

 

Abnormal narrowing of a bodily passage.

STN (Stomal Therapy Nurse)

 

A nurse with specialised education in the care of people with stomas.

Stoma

 

A surgical created opening. This word is sometimes interchanged with the word "ostomy".  Stomas can be created into the gastro-intestinal (bowel) or urinary system, or the airways which is called a Tracheostomy, or other parts of the body as required.

Stool

 

Term used to define waste material from the bowel. Also known as faeces.

 

 

 

T

 

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U

 

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Ulcerative Colitis

 

An Inflammatory Bowel Disease that causes inflammation of the lining of the colon and typically causes bloody diarrhea.

Ureter

 

See Urinary Tract

Urethra

 

See Urinary Tract

Urinary Diversion

 

See Urostomy

Urinary Tract

 

The group of body parts that contribute to the production and storage or urine. From each kidney a tube called a ureter carries urine into the bladder.  From the bladder, the urine goes down another tube called the urethra, to be passed out of the body.

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

 

An infection that typically involves the kidneys or bladder. Some warning signs of a urinary tract infection include dark cloudy urine, strong smelling urine, back pain, fever, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting.

Urostomy

 

A surgically created opening (usually on the abdomen) that allows urine to flow out of the body. A Urostomy may also be called a urinary diversion or ileal conduit.

 

 

 

V

 

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W

 

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White Blood Cells

 

There are three major groups of mature white blood cells, granulocytes, lymphocytes and monocytes.  Granulocytes and monocytes are formed in the bone marrow and lymphocytes are formed in the lymph nodes.  The white blood cells play a major role in the body's defence against infection.

 

 

 

X

 

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X-Ray

 

Radiant energy of extremely short wave length, used as a diagnostic tool.

 

 

 

Y

 

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Z

 

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