Meet & talk to fellow OstoMates Support | Friendship | Relationships

Flying with a stoma

Sat Nov 13, 2021 7:38 am
This is a great community. Consider joining.

Hi there, looking for information about flying with a colostomy bag as I'm worried about it ballooning whilst up in the air, this will be the first time of flying since having the bag on my side. Thanks in advance 

These are the top 5 issues ostomates face:

1. Dating and relationships
2. Concealing the pouch
3. Foods to eat and avoid
4. Losing or gaining weight
5. Pouch ballooning

Check out this video from MeetAnOstoMate.
Sat Nov 13, 2021 7:43 pm

I'm not sure about flying but I just finished 40 Hyberbaric Oxygen Treatments where they take you from normal pressure to another pressure(mine was 2.4 atmospheres, pressure like you're 48 feet under water), just like flying. Absolutely no issues with the bag.

Mon Nov 15, 2021 1:34 pm

No problem. It does not blow up like a bag of chips. Just empty before boarding. Everything will be fine.

Tue Nov 16, 2021 5:41 pm

Good Day,  

 

I have flown many times in the year and a half that I had my Ileostomy.  The latest was a round trip to and from Europe.  Flights were over 12 hrs.  A few things I've found.  When going through TSA your bag will be detected during the body scan.  Most screeners will ask what is in the area of your stomach.  I'd advise that I was wearing an ostomy bag.  I'd then ask to rub the area over my stomach the they would wipe my hands with a small pad.  This was put into a screener to detect any explosive residue.  It was very low key and quick.  An exception to this was when we left Amsterdam.  I wear a ostomy bag support belt.  I went through the scanner and this was detected.  The screener asked about "my belt".  I advised that it was a support belt for my ostomy bag.  There must have been a language barrier because he did not seem to understand what I was saying.  I repeated "Ostomy bag" a few times as he started tugging at the belt.  After I showed him he asked again "belt?, belt?"  Getting a little frustrated I said "It's for my Sh@% Sack!.  He then let me through.  I went to the gate and began boarding about 2 hrs later.  After I gave my boarding pass I was asked to step aside for another search.  I went to a area away from the line and a more detailed search of my person and packages was conducted.  Having nothing to hide, I was let on.  I later realized that I may have over reacted to the initial searcher.  He quite possibly thought I was calling him a Sh@% Sack, thus the additional attention prior to boarding the plane.  Lessen learned, be patient.....  I've been to nearly 10 airports and the bag was detected.  At Heathrow however, there was a metal detector.  That did not pick up my bag so I was waved past the body scanner.  Hard to figure that out.  

While on the plane I use the same rules as before surgery (and with UC). Go before you board and sit on an aisle.  When using the bathroom on the plane drop some toilet paper in the toilet before you empty your bag.  It's pretty noticeable when you have to flush three times for the bowl to empty.  That loud sucking noise can be heard throughout the plane.  

Hope these little bits of insight can help.  Aside from these little incidents, the bag was barely a concern.  

Have a great trip, 

SharkFan

Tue Nov 16, 2021 6:22 pm

Get a travel certificate.

Axl
Tue Nov 16, 2021 6:40 pm

As Above, no  issues

Tue Nov 16, 2021 8:20 pm

I never have issues with ballooning or getting pass security with all my stuff ,even aerosols . I have an ID card to show to tsa . Have fun and relax

ritz

Tue Nov 16, 2021 8:57 pm

I've been on several flights with no problems ‼

I also skydive out of planes with no cabin pressure and everything went Great ‼😎 Don't let that bag slow you down‼😎🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

Tue Nov 16, 2021 10:20 pm

As many have already said, no problem at all with flying.  I have flown quite a bit since having my ileostomy in 2015, some 11-hour non-stop from the U.S. to Europe.  The one thing about TSA security is the different scanners.  If it is the walk-through then there will not be a problem.  If it is the scanner where you stand and it scans around you, it will detect your bag.  I would suggest emptying before security and then of course before you get on the plane.  The answer above as to what security will do if your bag is detected is what I have encountered when going through the body scanner that detects the bag -- quick and easy.  

The bag will not balloon up so do not worry about that.  I also keep a bottle of water with me when I go to the restroom on the plane.  I generally will add water to my bag to rinse it out and then empty it (something I do as a general rule anyway).  

Everything will go smoothly, no reason to avoid flying at all.

Wed Nov 17, 2021 3:53 am

Flying itself  doesn't cause the bag to blow up . I often have problems with too much gas in my bag so always try to sit on aisle seats. This helps for quick trips to the restroom . Although I always go to the restroom before boarding sometimes you will still need a quick trip.

I've had different experiences in most airports. First you go thru the body scanner like everyone else. Then the majority will pull you aside and give you a full body search with your arms and legs spread out plus an additional swab over your bag with your own hand. This is processed thru a machine. Once I was taken inside an enclosed area and asked to see my bag. But then again at a large airport I was just treated like everyone else. I was pleasantly surprised. 

Anyway, I don't stress out about plane flights anymore.

 

Wed Nov 17, 2021 8:54 am


orfalinda65 wrote:

Flying itself  doesn't cause the bag to blow up . I often have problems with too much gas in my bag so always try to sit on aisle seats. This helps for quick trips to the restroom . Although I always go to the restroom before boarding sometimes you will still need a quick trip.

I've had different experiences in most airports. First you go thru the body scanner like everyone else. Then the majority will pull you aside and give you a full body search with your arms and legs spread out plus an additional swab over your bag with your own hand. This is processed thru a machine. Once I was taken inside an enclosed area and asked to see my bag. But then again at a large airport I was just treated like everyone else. I was pleasantly surprised. 

Anyway, I don't stress out about plane flights anymore.

 

It's against the law for them to ask to look at your bag . 

Wed Nov 17, 2021 11:32 am

I've flown a lot in the last 19 years with my colostomy. I always try to get an aisle seat. If I notice a balloon forming, I just go the bathroom and release. It helps to flush as a way to clear the air. Some people use the pouches with vents which might work for you. I'm fine just manually venting when needed. I do try avoid soft drinks (the bubbles just go right through) and gas producing foods before flying. I've never had a problem with the ostomy at security, just being pulled to the side after a body scanner for the explosive check. When I flew through Amsterdam once, I was asked to step into a curtained area with a female officer to look at the pouch. It was done very courteously. Enjoy your travels!

Wed Nov 17, 2021 12:15 pm

I haven't flown with my ostomy yet but if the TSA wants to see my bag up close, I'll be happy to oblige. 😂

Wed Nov 17, 2021 5:52 pm

Flying they just have you touch the outer if your shirt and swipe your hand 

* Please, do not post contact information, personal information or advertising.
All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Currently online: 21