Travel With An Ostomy
The following is based on information contained in YES WE CAN! By Barbara Kupfer, et al
- Check with your doctor about whether or not you should travel, whether any modes of transportation or destinations should be avoided. He or she can also tell you what effect, if any, your planned activities may have on you because of your condition.
- Never trust your supplies to anyone else except close family members or friends.
- Always carry your supplies with you. Never check them with your baggage.
- If leaking in a strange bed is a concern, carry a crib size baby pad or large plastic bags to put under a sheet.
- Used plastic grocery bags are a great way to dispose of used pouches while concealing any odor.
- When moving around, carry an extra adhesive device and pouch in case you need a replacement.
- Use a bathroom when one is handy. Don’t rely on hoping that one will be available when you need it.
- If you use two piece equipment, consider using one piece equipment when traveling. It is one less thing to worry about.
- Only drink safe liquids, such as liquids from unopened bottles. For information about safe drinking water, click here.
- Keep contact information for an ET nurse or this link to help you locate one while traveling: at www.wocn.org . Click on “Patient Information” then “Find A Nurse In Your Area”.
If you have an ileostomy or a continent ileostomy:
- Fluids are lost in the stool. Drink enough fluids to keep your urine light yellow.
- Moderately salted foods compensate for electrolyte loss.
If you have a colostomy:
- In case you need to heat safe drinking water, carry a portable heater (with a universal electrical adapter if traveling out of the country).
- If you are crossing time zones, or likely to change your daily habits, think about changing the time you irrigate for a few weeks before travel to get used to the new schedule at home rather than while traveling.
If you have a urostomy:
- Take a leg bag on long trips. Test it before traveling.
- To avoid possible contamination of your urinary system, acidity your urine by taking Vitamin C in a dosage recommended by your oncologist.
For information about packing, travel by car, and travel by air with an ostomy, see:
Before boarding any transportation, empty the pouch so you don’t have to be concerned about finding yourself in a situation where you can’t empty it when you want to and check your equipment.
For additional information about ostomies, click here.