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A Guide To Living With A Stoma

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100% accuracy at time of writing cannot be guaranteed.  A listing in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and does not mean it is an endorsement.  All companies listed are tried at the reader’s own risk.  All information provided is intended as a supplement to any professional help already

given.  Before acting on suggestions from anyone, ostomates are advised to check with a doctor or stoma care nurse that the course of action is suitable

for them. Whilst every care is taken, the author will not be held responsible.
















Pack all ostomy appliances/equipment in clear plastic bags (e.g. freezer or sandwich bags), so that they are less bulky than in boxes, and place these in your hand luggage.  Having packed all ostomy stocks in clear, plastic bags in your hand luggage, when a passenger arrives at security, if the luggage is searched, then the ostomy products are clearly visible to the security staff.  It can also be handy to have a copy of a prescription in the bags to show that they are medical supplies.

In addition, an ostomate should also carry a small travel kit.  


It is very important that ostomy products are placed in hand luggage, so that they are with you at all times and they are within easy reach.  Some airlines now offer special allowances, e.g. an extra 5 kg. for passengers carrying medical equipment.  On the other hand, though, some airlines only allow one suitcase per person without extra charges being incurred.  Check with your airline for eligibility.

If ostomy supplies are placed in baggage that is separated from you and placed in the hold, then the supplies may be lost or delayed. If ostomy supplies are lost or delayed, it may not be possible to obtain them at your destination, and even if this is possible, ostomy products are likely to be very expensive.  Also, not every brand or every style is universally available.  As a last resort, in an emergency, some home delivery companies will arrange for some supplies to be sent to you.

These days, there are restrictions for hand luggage on planes.  Scissors must be packed in the

luggage, which goes in the hold.  

There are restrictions on liquids, gels and aerosols taken on board a plane.  Any liquids, gels and aerosols, which are carried in hand luggage, must be less than 100 ml. (or equivalent amount of measure) and be placed in a transparent, plastic, resealable bag - ready for visual examination at the airport security screening point.  The size of the plastic bag must not exceed 8” x 8” (20 cm. x 20 cm.).  There is a maximum limit of 100 ml. per container, up to a maximum of one litre and one bag per passenger.  The items must fit comfortably within the transparent, plastic bag, which must be completely closed.  It is recommended to store these items within their original containers, whenever possible.  The requirements may change from time to time, so it is important to check with the appropriate airport for up-to-date information.

It is preferential not to over pack suitcases, as they may become heavy to lift.  Use a luggage trolley, where possible, or ask someone for help if the cases are heavier than normal, in order to prevent the possibility of a parastomal hernia.


Pre-cut flanges at home prior to travelling.  This means that valuable holiday time is not wasted getting flanges prepared whilst away.  Also, as scissors are not allowed in hand luggage on planes, this means that whilst travelling, some pre-cut flanges will be available.  Many home delivery companies provide an appliance cutting service.



Lifestyle/Out & About/Travel Kits

Suppliers/Home Delivery

Even with a stoma, it is okay to sunbathe within normal limits.  However, it is best to ensure that the stoma is covered, since excessive heat may have a negative effect on products - sometimes causing them to work incorrectly.

Sweating from exercise or hot weather, may not only cause a large loss of water from the body, it might also loosen adhesive on some stoma products or reduce the amount of time that the appliance can be worn.  Remember to check the seal on the pouch for leaks, if experiencing hotter than usual conditions.

A cotton pouch cover can be particularly useful if an ostomate wishes to sunbathe.

Hot weather can lead to dehydration.  If an ostomate feels thirsty, dehydration has already occurred, and it is very important to increase fluid intake.  Commercial isotonic sports drinks are very good, since they also replace the essential salts and sugars, which have been lost through sweating.


As per the norm, remember sun cream, sunhat and sunglasses.


If flying, all sharp instruments, e.g. scissors, etc., must be packed into the main luggage, which is placed in the aircraft’s hold.  Even small scissors will be confiscated from hand luggage by airport security.



Accessories/Pouch Covers

Phrase cards assist travellers abroad.  They are the size of a credit card, and are available in several languages, e.g. French, German, Italian, Spanish etc., depending on the issuing company.  They give translations to such phrases as:

Where is the local doctor?

Where is the nearest chemist (hospital)?

Where is the nearest toilet?

Can I see the stoma nurse?

I have a problem with my stoma.

I have run out of appliances for my condition.

I need to change my appliance.

My skin is very sore.

I am having difficulty with my appliance.

For further information, or to obtain these phrase cards, contact Dansac.  On request,

Salts Healthcare also send out phrase cards to all ostomates.



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