If this is your first time travelling after you had a colostomy or ileostomy, it's only natural that you feel a bit apprehensive about it. Questions about how different foods will impact things, how you can have the best experience and what facilities will be like when you need to change your bag (especially if being adventurous travelling!) may arise. But don't worry, we have you covered. In this article, you will find answers and a few tips that will make it easy to travel with a stoma bag.
Travelling With A Stoma Bag
Having holiday time is exciting and you don't need to miss out on the fun just because you had surgery, in fact the surgery will allow you to have more fun! Adjusting to a colostomy or ileostomy can be challenging at first, but it doesn't mean you can't enjoy a full and active life. If your doctor said you could continue to do most of the activities you enjoyed before, including travelling, that's precisely what you need to do.
To ease yourself into travelling, you can start with shorter trips to see how you feel about it. A couple of nights away from home will give you an idea of how it is to be away, and it will build your confidence for longer getaways.
Whether you choose far away destinations or not, the change in diet, water, environment and climate can alter how often you change your stoma bag on a day. When it comes to changing, the best tip is preparation preparation preparation, so to be perfectly prepared is always to carry HyGeeni Bags, the best stoma bag disposal method.
HyGeeni Bags are strong and opaque bags designed to dispose of products contaminated with bodily fluids. Made from sugarcane waste and recycled plastic materials, these sustainable bags offer the discretion you need whenever you're travelling or staying away from home. With their easy-to-use system, you can safely place your stoma bag inside and firmly seal it, locking in any odours.
How Soon After Stoma Surgery Can I Fly?
After abdominal surgery, the recovery period can take a few weeks for your body to settle down. It's important not to take unnecessary risks and follow the doctor's instructions. But once you have been given the green light by your surgeon, you are free to enjoy life in other destinations.
Be extra mindful of your body and avoid lifting heavy luggage. When you have a stoma bag, your body is in a constant state of healing. Even if you feel great, take it easy to prevent any complications.
It is always best to get onto the plane with an empty bag but if it is a long flight and you need to change, you can ask the flight attendant for the baby change toilet, so you have shelf space. In the plane, you don't need to worry about the air pressure causing your stoma bag to expand or not function correctly. It won't happen.
Will Security Check My Stoma Bag and Belt?
Most airport security crews will be trained to deal with colostomy or ileostomy patients, but nothing is guaranteed. The same goes for trains and buses. Ask your healthcare provider for your medical card signed and stamped by your GP. Most of the time, presenting this card with a simple explanation is enough.
Also, if you are travelling within the UK, you can apply to obtain a RADAR key, which gives you access to public disabled toilets around the country, so you can change comfortably whenever you need to.
Planning Your Holiday After Surgery
As with any holiday, planning is the key to success.
- Making a checklist of equipment specific to your stoma will prevent you from unexpected situations and will give you peace of mind.
- To be 100% sure you're taking exactly what you need, go through your stoma bag change routine and pack accordingly.
- Prepare a separate bag with your stoma essentials to keep in your handbag, so you can grab and go. Include wet wipes, tissues, disposable HyGeeni Bags, and ostomy deodorant.
- Taking extra supplies will give you peace of mind regardless of the place you're staying. Calculate the number of stoma bags you use daily and pack double the amount to be safe. Include different size bags for different activities.
- If possible, keep your stoma supplies in your cabin luggage for easy access and just in case your luggage gets misplaced.
- When you are far from home is always reassuring to be able to dispose of your stoma bag discreetly. Pack enough HyGeeni Bags for the whole trip to be able to conceal your stoma wherever you are.
- Be mindful of your body and take the medication to slow your bowel activity if necessary. Sachets of rehydration powder may be helpful as well to replace body salts and reduce the risk of dehydration.
Now you’re ready- ENJOY YOUR TRIP!