Trip will be over with at 6 PM today, Thank you all for your support.

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This forum discussion is about individuals sharing their experiences and tips for flying with an ostomy, including going through airport security and packing supplies.

I am flying next week and am taking everything in my carry on. Is this going to be a problem when I check in at the gate? Will the tube of paste be OK?Has anyone had trouble with our ostomy products at the check in gate? Does the altitude of the plane cause air in the bag? Is there anything that I should be worried about?

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Hi Klancee

I have flown numerous times with my ileostomy and nothing has ever happened to my appliance. I did however have a problem when I put a small pair of scissors in my carry on. They did take them.
I do however worry about the body scan. Every time I go through I am pulled aside and they pat me down and check my hands for gun powder. Some times are better than others. Usually the security guard is very nice and compassionate but I did have one that was loud and obnoxious because she didn't know anything about my condition or what I was talking about.
I did have my PC write a note explaining that I have an ileostomy and I am under her care. They didn't seem to care because they still have to go through their routine.

I don't want to scare you, I just want you to know what is in store. I have never regretted flying with my ileostomy. Go, have a good time and relax. Please let us know how it went

Stories of Living Life to the Fullest from Ostomy Advocates I Hollister

Last time I put my scissors in with my liquids in a see through zip lock bag and they let them through. Empty before getting on the plane. How long is your flight?


Hi K,

As others have said....there should be no major issues. The cabin is pressurized, so your bag will think it's on the ground, and not at 20,000 ft. Nothing to worry about there. Unless someone opens an emergency exit door during the which point you'll have way bigger problems than your bag filling with air. Have fun!


Reply to Hairdresser

Thank you for your experience and story, each one I read gives me more information and support. I appreciate it.

Reply to xnine

I think I will cut my flange first before I leave so I don't need scissors. Thank you. I appreciate the help and idea's, short two hour trip.

Reply to w30bob

Thank yo for the humor this helped me and I laughed out loud. Helps allot to be able to laugh at my own fears.


hi klancee, i have flown three times since my colonostomy no problem. like you i put all my stoma stuff and all my other medication in my flight bagi have never been stopped by security but i do wear an ostomy lanyard to signify i have a stoma which was supplied by my local airport (manchester uk) which also gives me free passage thru the express security lane. i also wear a support belt . i follow the stoma travel adviceand have a secure bag with all i need for a change at the top of my flight bag just in case . have a nice trip. patrick


Hello Klancee.
In the past I was a fairly frequent flyer and had very few problems with the stoma aspect. One time they took my best scissors because I forgot I had them in the carry-on luggage.
Another time they pulled me to one side and asked what it was that was showing up on the body scanner. This was probably due to my DIY base-plates seeming unusual. –Very politely, they asked if they could have a look and took me to a side room (with my permission) about six staff members were present while I showed them my device and gave them all a quick humour-filled talk on stomas, the potential problems with flying,( and stoma life in general) and the reasons we need so much gear. 
They were not so interested in the huge bag of CPAP equipment I was also toting which contained items that could easily have been concealing all sorts of illegal stuff!
Perhaps they had heard enough after my exposition on stomas.
Seriously though, most airport staff are by now well- aware of stomas and just take it all in their stride. 
The stoma ‘travelcard’ is quite a good idea if you are not like me and are not willing or able to verbally articulate about stomas. These are usually available, free of charge, through most of the major manufacturers.
Have a great trip and (to quote the song) ‘don’t worry – be happy’.
Best wishes



get urself the fly kit it will save time


Hi Klancee , me too !! Next Wed . These days most of the security people know about Ostomies . Most are very good and polite . I pack a few Baggies with three of everything you need for a Full change and keep it in carry on bag . Do any cutting ( Flange ) before leaving your house . One think I learned the hard ( shitty ) way was to have a backpack with a Full change of clothes for emergency ...just in case . I will have an egg on a muffin about two hours before the airportand not eat after that until I'm back on the ground . My flight will be a non stop and takes from 11to13 hours !!Back of the plane near the bathroom is best for me ...easy to get water etc in theback near the Galley .

Only had one problem , ever and that happenedwhen I was justa Rookie !!!

Best of luck Magoo .

Reply to Hairdresser

I also was pulled aside and pat down. Also tested my hands. They are assholes. I know its there job.


Hi Klancee i precut my flanges and leave the scissors home but i put everything in a large ziplock bag and mark it ostomy, the last time i flew the agent checking my carryon wouldnt even touch the ziplock, he made me pick it up and show him whats in it including paste.


I put ALL my supplies including adhesive remover spray, bottle of lubricant,scissors,drinking water all in a separate carryon bag. I let security know as soon as I put my bag on the belt that I have medical supplies in it . They look and test items and let me keep everything without an issue. Just relax and have a fun trip .


Usually they pat you should be behind a curtained area..If there is time get the precheck pass so you can avoid this pat down.


It's been awhile, but the last time I flew they asked me to step aside after going thru the scanner and the TSA dude patted me down and asked me to lift my shirt. Figuring I'd have some fun with this it looked like his life way too serious these days.........while he was looking at my bag I popped it off my barrier just on the show him what was in it, and give him a good whiff. He let out an OMG! and I thought the poor bastard was gonna lose his lunch right then and there. I had no issues after that. They didn't even take my scissors.

Sometimes you're the windshield........sometimes the bug. Being the windshield is better.





I've had my ileostomy for 11 years (next month). I've flown a lot in that time. I always pack my ostomy supplies in my carry on because I can't afford to have them lose my luggage if I check it!

As for the way security acts, they're all different, obviously, and I don't want to scare as much as prepare you for worst case scenarios and a tip or two. Honestly, I've had some horrible experiences with security. According to their own website (at least when this happened several years ago) they're not allowed to ask you to show them your ostomy bag. The first time I flew, they saw the bag in the full body scanner, made me walk barefoot (they wouldn't give me my shoes or any of my possessions), to a small room where 3 female security guards interrogated me and demanded I show them my bag. They said if I didn't, they would not let me fly. Despite the fact that I had a print out of their own policies. I cried and cried, it was so embarrassing. They didn't just want me to show my ostomy, I got a full pat down. I had just had the surgery and was still mentally adjusting.

The other times were less traumatic. If I was selected to go through a medical detector, I was passed right through (so if you're given the option, definitely take that). If I was chosen for the full body scanner, they can see it's there so they always pat me down, sometimes run a wand over me or even swab my clothes for explosives residue. I try to stay upbeat and joke with the ladies who pat me down. I learned a long time ago: if you don't laugh, you'll cry.

As for my items, I precut everything in case they take my scissors, which luckily, they haven't. But I have a special prescription steroid foam in an aerosol can (my stoma is a problem, leaks constantly, ruins my skin, bag must be changed everyday). Luckily, when I packed my supplies, I grabbed a new bottle, still in it's unopened box, with the prescription label on it. Because they were giving me a hard time about letting the steroid foam onto the plane, they swabbed it and claimed it had explosives residue on the box!Of course I was shocked and PISSED because it did NOT have explosives residue!After a supervisor checked it again, they said that I could take it because it was in a sealed box with the prescription label on it.

One other tip, you're allowed to bring a bag of medical supplies (ostomy counts) and it doesn't count as your carry on!You get to bring it as a freebie since it's a medical necessity.

I hope I didn't scare you, just hope you can learn from my experiences and have a happy trip!



You can download and print the ostomy I.D. at this site: ; have taken that with me on numerous flights and ironically have never had to show it. If I go through the walk-through scanner there is no issue because it will not pick up an ostomy bag. The body scanner will pick up the ostomy bag and I tell them before I walk into the scanner that I have an ostomy bag. They usually do the test for gunpowder residue and that is about it, sometimes a slight pat down, but generally not. Great advice above to empty your bag before going through security. I usually take one change of my appliance in my carry-on and the rest in my checked luggage, but that is just me since I am very fortunate in that I do not have to change my ileostomy appliance very often at all.


Hello!The only thing about flying is the patdown at security. otherwise everything goes fine. I carry on most of my supplies in case my luggage gets lost, I leave a few days worth in the checked bag sometimes, depending on how long a trip it is.

Have fun!You'll see that everything will go fine.


As others have mentioned, carry on all your supplies in case your checked luggage takes a detour to your destination.
I precut the flanges so scissors are not an issue.

In regard to the TSA, I usually get pulled to the side for a pat down. Most wokers are not even sure as what an ostomy is. I also had one that obnoxious. I guess it comes with the territory.

I haven't had any issues on the plane with the bag. I do avoid eating or drinking before the flight, but I did that before my ileostomy as my IBS always acted up on the plane.

i am sure you will do fine and hope you enjoy your trip.

Reply to Klancee

I was scared to death the first time I flew- clutching my blue Emergency bathroom card and nothing happened at all!


You should have no problem with airport security. I fly quite a bit and always take my supplies, including blunt nose sissors, with me. Once in a while the TSA may look at them but generally not. Make sure the tube of paste or anything else is 3 oz. or less.

Reply to Mayoman

My flight is only 2 hours and I don't see me having any trouble but first time I may have anxiety. Thank you


happy flight enjoy have fun...

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