If air travel can sometimes be uncomfortable for a person under normal conditions, for a person carrying an ostomy pouch, air travel can be, at any given moment, a distressing and worrisome time.
To make your air travel pleasant and safe, here are some guidelines:
1. Change your device or empty it before crossing the security checkpoints, so if there is a search it will be less uncomfortable or embarrassing. If they ask you what you are wearing under your clothes and want to inspect you in more detail, ask them to do it in a private area.
2. Remember that checked baggage is sometimes lost or delayed. Take any extra gear with you on the plane in your carry-on baggage.
3. Be aware that airplane restrooms may not be comfortable and spacious enough to perform actions such as changing or emptying the ostomy pouch. Take adequate collection and cleaning material for this purpose.
4. Due to security controls, you will not be able to bring scissors or cutting material onto the plane. Remember to bring the discs previously cut.
5. It is important that you carry with you a medical certificate that may be required at security checkpoints to pass your medication and medical material. Some pharmaceutical companies issue passports for colostomy, ileostomy and urostomy patients in different languages indicating the need to carry ostomy supplies.
6. Keep an eye on hydration.
7. Try to reserve a seat in the aisle. This way you will have easy access to the restroom in case you have an emergency.
8. The change of climate should also be considered. In this regard, professionals indicate that in warm climates the stoma is likely to perspire more and the pouch will need to be changed frequently. Similarly, heat should also be taken into account. In these cases, it is advisable to drink more water and to find out if you should carry any special medication.
9. Avoid drinking carbonated beverages or gas-producing foods to prevent the ostomy pouch from swelling with cabin pressure.
10. Air in the pouch. There are devices that you can connect to the pouch to let air out without having to open the pouch from the bottom. This can be very practical when you are tired of having an inflated ostomy pouch. Use any garment to cover yourself and do the operation.
11. You can inform your ostomy to the person in charge of your area on the plane in order to receive their assistance in case of emergency.
12. The seat belt in the airplane can be an inconvenience when it rubs against your stoma. In this case, we recommend using the SIIL protector®. You will not feel any chafing.
Let no one and nothing deprive you of the privilege of traveling and seeing the world, something as necessary as any other activity to have a full life and proper mental health.