Below are listed a number of terms frequently used in connection with bowel medical conditions – for a more comprehensive list you may wish to look at Dansac’s Glossary here.


Sampling a body tissue for microscopic examination in order to determine the nature of a disease process.

Brooke Ileostomy

A technique of constructing a surgical connection between the small intestine and the skin that was described by Sir Brian Brooke.


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.


The large intestine, the final 3-4 feet of the gastrointestinal tract.


An examination of the large intestine utilizing a long lighted fibreoptic or video scope.


A surgically constructed connection between the large intestine (colon) and the skin. Requires an appliance or “bag” to collect intestinal waste.

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, diarrhoea, fever, and weight loss. Complications include bleeding, obstruction, perforation and development of fistulas.

Familial Polyposis

A genetic (inherited) disease of the large intestine manifested by the development of many colon polyps that always degenerate into Cancer.


An abnormal connection between the intestine and the skin (enterocutaneous), the vagina (enterovaginal or colovaginal), or the bladder (enterovesical or colovesical).


A surgically constructed connection between the small intestine (ileum) and the skin. Requires an appliance or “bag” to collect intestinal waste.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s Disease.

Intestinal Obstruction

Blockage of the small or large intestine by tumor, inflammation or adhesions. Symptoms usually include cramp-like abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, abdominal distention and constipation.


A defect in the abdominal wall.


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


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


A flat or grape-like growth of benign or malignant tissue in the intestine.


The surgical removal of the colon and rectum.


The protrusion of the rectum (or intestine) through the anus (or addominal wall). Usually caused by relaxation of normal supporting structures.


The last 15cm (6 inches) of the intestinal tract.

Restorative Proctocolectomy

Surgical Removal of a diseased colon and rectum with the re-establishment of intestinal continuity utilizing an intestinal reservoir. Also called J-Pouch, Parks Pouch, Ileo-anal Pouch, or Ileal Pouch Anal Anastomosis.


A visual examination of the lower 12-25 inches if the large intestine using a lighted scope.


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

Ulcerative Colitis

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


A surgically constructed connection between the urinary tract and the skin, usually performed in a patient whose bladder has been removed. Permits the passage of urine from the body.