tips from the ostomate for flying with an ostomy

Ken's air travel

Read Ken's tips for flying with an ostomy.

Coloplast invited Ken to share his story and was compensated by Coloplast for providing this information. Your experience may not be the same. Contact your healthcare provider about what works best for you.

I have learned a few ways to make traveling with an ostomy worry free. I suppose initially the prospect of being frisked at security was the most terrifying thing. The first time it happened the security guard frisked me because I had set off the alarm for some reason. He took a step back when he touched my ostomy.

Gave him my card

I have a card, which explains about the ostomy and the medical condition in several languages. I handed this over and the guard read it over. They just need to verify that the pouch is in place "for real".

I was taken to a private room where I could show them I was not carrying anything more than an ostomy pouch.

A fresh pouch for the journey

We tend to travel to the airport the day before the flight and stay in a hotel with parking. I always change my pouch and barrier at the hotel, so that it's fresh for the journey.

chaging the ostomy pouch right before the trip can help you feel comfortable

First: A trip to the toilet

After take-off the pouch might balloon a little, I assume because of cabin pressure variation. As soon as the seat belt sign goes out I go to the toilet and open the drainable outlet on the pouch. This equalizes the pressure and eases any problems that might occur.

The toilets are also quite clean at this point in the flight so much more pleasant to do anything you might need to do.

Add medical supplies to your carry-on bag

Most airlines will allow you to carry on a separate bag of medical supplies and not include this in your carry-on baggage allowance. You can check this in the small print of the airlines terms and conditions.

consider having ostomy supplies in the hand luggage

Bring it all with you

I would definitely recommend that you carry all the supplies you need for the duration of your vacation with you on the plane.

If your checked baggage gets lost or removed to somewhere else then it can be very stressful trying to get supplies sent to your destination.

I find these days that the last thing on my mind when I anticipate travel abroad is my ostomy. That's not to say that it was not a big concern initially but it has diminished as a worry as I've become more comfortable with it.

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