Certain medical conditions, including cancer, may require treatments that change the way the body eliminates waste. An ostomy is a surgical procedure that creates an opening in the body to redirect urine or stool; depending on the exact surgery, the end of the ureter or small or large bowel will protrude through the abdominal wall (this protrusion is called a stoma). As a consequence of an ostomy, you will need to use a pouch system to collect the waste coming out through the stoma.
A typical ostomy pouch system includes a pouch and a skin barrier or wafer as well as certain accessories to achieve the best fit. The pouch attaches to the abdomen with the skin barrier and is fitted over and around the stoma. The skin barrier is also designed to protect the skin from the stoma output. Urostomy pouches are made specifically for urine collection; others may be described as being for ileostomies and accommodate an opening created from the small intestine (usually at the end of the ileum) or for colostomies, when a portion of the colon or the rectum is removed and the remaining colon is brought to the abdominal wall.