Ostomy is a medical term that describes the creation of an opening from the inside of the body to the outside of the body. The stoma (opening to the ostomy) is on the outside of the body and usually covered by a pouch (bag). Ostomies may be permanent, usually when an organ no longer works correctly, or temporary, such as when an organ needs time to rest while it heals. When a person gets an ostomy, they must learn how to clean around it to keep the skin from breaking down, apply the bag (also called an appliance), empty and change it, and what to do if there are problems with it. Click on “Learn More” to discover how to care for someone with an ostomy.