You might be wondering what it’s like to travel and move long distances with an ostomy. Thankfully, with modern advantages like MicroSkin pouches, it’s nowhere near as difficult to get around comfortably. Almost anybody can function just as well as the next person, provided you follow a few simple strategies.
General Guidelines for Driving or Flying
First of all, you may want to delay airline traveling or anything turbulent if you are still recovering from a procedure. If you’re still unable to sit comfortably, then an airplane, bus, boat, or even your car may present problems.
Depending on your doctor’s advice, it could be anywhere between four to six weeks before you can resume air travel. When you do, remember that your ostomy supplies may gain the attention of TSA staff. It’s better to get to the airport early, alert TSA employees that you have pouches and what they’re for, and show them the medicines you’re bringing
Also, don’t forget that if they’re performing pat-down searches, inform them of any painful or sensitive areas. Since they’ve probably encountered this at some point, they should be understandable and accommodating. We also recommend having everything clean and empty when arriving at the airport.
Don’t forget to bring all essential items with you on your trip, including pouches, skin wipes, disposal bags, and a good suitcase for everything.
Issues Specific to Urostomy, Ileostomy, & Colostomy
Keep these minor issues in mind when you travel with either a urostomy, ileostomy, or colostomy:
Be mindful of your hydration requirements. Not all airlines provide drinks, and even if they do, you might not get them as fast as you would like. Be sure to have a backup plan for pouches as well as doctor access in the event of an infection.
Here, you should drink plenty of fluids also. Be mindful of leaking potential. It may be wise to pack a plastic mattress cover of some sort to protect against minor leaks.
Changes in elevation and cabin pressure may have an adverse effect that generates gas. In situations where you’ll be near several other passengers, take extra precautions to avoid gas-inducing food or drinks that exacerbate the problem.
Other Preparation Tips
It would also be a good idea to pre-cut and prepare your various pouches and supplies. This is especially true for flying because you won’t be able to get most scissors past airline security.
It helps if you can get your doctor or nurse practitioner to provide you with medical documentation of your conditions. Then you can show this to airport staff if you encounter hindrances.
CYMED produces the best ostomy supplies that are easy to use for daily tasks as well as traveling. We think it’s so important to know how to troubleshoot all potential ostomy roadblocks. If you found this helpful and want to know more about our products, call us at (800) 582-0707 or fill out the form below!