Travel is usually synonymous with fun, pleasure, vacation. For a person with an ostomy it should be no different. You can travel wherever you want; relaxation, fun, adventure. You choose where you want to go. Your ostomy pouch will not prevent you from taking that trip you are looking forward to or putting a backpack on your back and living unforgettable experiences as long as you take care of your stoma and your physical condition allows you to do so.
It is advisable to wait six months for a complete recovery from your surgery and to get to know your device well. This will help you to better solve any uncomfortable situation you may have to face.
People with colostomies, ileostomies and urostomies can travel safely by any means of transportation, but when traveling it is possible that the anxiety or concern of these people may increase, especially when it comes to trips that include days at the pool or beach or are made outside the country of residence.
In order to make your trip a pleasant one and enjoy the enriching experience of traveling to the fullest, here are some guidelines and recommendations.
1. Plan your trips. Leave nothing to chance. One of the main things you should take into account for the trip to be made, whatever the destination, is to take with you all the necessary resources for the changes and care of the stoma.
2. Making a travel list is a very useful option to ensure that you do not forget anything.
3. Keep in mind that in some places, you will not find anyone to provide you with what you need, so be careful to take what you need and even more than you need.
4. If you travel by car, keep your equipment in the coolest part of the vehicle. Avoid storing them in the trunk or placing them on the rear window sill. Sometimes, the seat belt can squeeze the stoma. To avoid this as well as to protect against a possible traffic mishap, use the SIIL Ostomy line stoma protector, which is perfect for these situations.
5. Store the material in a cool place, especially to avoid particularly high temperatures, so that they do not affect the permeability of the pouch or the quality of the disc.
6. Do not use products that you can get at your destination. Although you can get material, don’t risk it and take your own products.
7. Use open bags whenever possible (that can be opened for emptying) in case you have to empty them more frequently, as this will be easier and more comfortable.
8. Keep an eye on hydration. Ostomized people are prone to suffer from dehydration, so you should monitor the quality of water. It is advisable to drink bottled water, avoid ice and raw food.
9. If you are traveling alone, be sure to inform whoever you know on your trip of your situation in case an emergency situation arises. If you are traveling with a group of people, it is important that at least one of the members also knows your situation in case you need to make an urgent stop, if a situation arises that you do not know how to handle or just for the simple peace of mind of knowing that you have a confidant during your trip.
10. Do some research about your destination, in order to know if, in case of a medical emergency, you can count on medical assistance.
11. Be aware of the weather at your destination. Professionals indicate that in warm climates the stoma is likely to leak more and the pouch will need to be changed more frequently.
12. If you embark on an adventurous trip such as surfing in Hawaii or climbing Everest (yes! you can do all of these), be sure to protect your stoma. There are many products that can make you feel safer and more comfortable in all the activities you practice with the stoma protector or the SIIL Ostomy line ostomy belt.
13. If your trip is to the beach, take clothes that provide support to your stoma and protect it as adapted ostomy swimsuits. In SIIL we have a women’s swimwear collection perfect for your trips to the beach or your pool days.
14. Take with you a medical certificate to avoid delays in airport controls and that can also ensure the departure of medicines and supplies necessary for the care of the stoma, this certificate must be in several languages or in the language of the country you are going to visit.