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International Travel with an ileostomy  


Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 18
May 27, 2018 6:32 pm  

Hi everyone

I am going to France from Australia for July and August, escaping the winter.  I have made up sandwich bags of my everyday needs, a bag, a wipe, u shaped tape, barrier wipe, chux cloth, one glove and a garbage bag.  This is quite a lot of bulk for my carry on bag, 63 packets plus loose spares.  I will not check this bag as I couldn't cope with it being lost. I am checking other bags.  I have flown domestically since the surgery a few times and had no trouble with security.  I am wondering if international security will stop me and frisk me.  I imagine the bag shows up on the X-ray machine.  Domestic don't have these, just the radar thingy.  What do you say?  Has anyone else been stopped?  I guess I will have to learn how to say, I have an ileostomy, in French!

Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 3006
May 27, 2018 11:51 pm  

Hey Sydneychic,

Even when flying domestic the scanners catch my stoma about 50% of the time, although I nearly always let them know before I go through thr security checkpoint and they always do a light pat down and test for bomb residue.

Not sure if they will be more stringent in Europe, but I remember Amsterdam being petty thorough (I was not intimidated or embarrassed in any way).

It may be helpful to research suppliers in France just in case. 

Happy travels! 


Just your friendly neighborhood ostomate.

~ Crohn's Disease ¦ Ileostomy ~

john68 liked
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 20
May 28, 2018 1:27 am  

Hi SydneyChic,

I do travel quite a bit and haven't had any problems yet. Same as Erik, I tell them most of the time at forehand and they may have some questions, check it out, do a swap but I don't find that a problem (it's for our own safety).

This might be helpful explaining what an ostomy is in french:

Have a great time in France and enjoy the weather.

john68 liked
Joined: 4 years ago
Posts: 815
May 28, 2018 11:16 am  

Hello SydneyChic,

Sounds like you will have a great trip.

I have traveled internationally twice since my ostomy 3 years ago. No problems at all with security.

I have walked through the scanner and of course, had my carry on bags  scanned too. No pat downs, no nothing. They never used the 'wand' on me either. I think since everything is plastic it really doesn't make a blip on the scanners.

I travel with my husband, and we split up my supplies between us ( no problem with the his bags either). I take enough in the carry on luggage to get me through the entire length of the trip. Then I double that number and check those bags through. We distribute it in case one is lost. I also use the sandwich bag pre-packed kit method. I keep a set in my hand bag too. I've never had to change in the airplane head, but I can ( I guess!) if I had to.

You will notice the gas in your bag expands as you climb in altitude...and if you have a way to vent it , thats a real help ( I use E-Z vents about them here on this website).

Marco has a great idea there to figure out a supply source in France. All these things are available internationally. Check out some French addresses for your Brand of ostomy supplies.

The main problem for me with long haul flying is staying hydrated on the plane.We went to New Zealand last January to enjoy the summer 'down' there. Keep drinking......water! Ha. Wine in France.

Bon Voyage!

Onset of severe Ulcerative Colitus Oct.2012. Subtotal colectomy with illiostomy July 2015; Peristomal hernia repair ( Sugarbaker, mesh, laparoscopic) May 2017.