Life with bowel cancer


Stoma Advice

I’m due to return to work on Monday and a bit nervous about my new “accessory”...

Any tips or advice?

Concerned about leaks... and noises in meetings!

Also going on holiday in September so appreciate any advice on that (please tell me it won’t inflate like a balloon on the plane!!?!)

Dani :x::x:

Lady GT

Hi there @DMR700 .
I understand your nervousness, getting back to 'normal' is quite a scary thing isn't it? Lord GT was the same.
First and foremost, no your bag will NOT blow up like a balloon on the plane!!!
His Lordship took a few precautions … eating lightly before travelling, taking Immodium and booking an aisle seat so that he could reach the loo easily.
The journey passed completely uneventfully, despite quite a long flight delay.
Have you got the medical card which you can show at security and the key to the disabled toilets at the airport? Have you informed the airline - you might be entitled to extra hand luggage to accommodate your supplies. DON'T pack them in your suitcase, in case it gets lost in transit!

Do you often get leaks? In the beginning, Lord GT used to tape the sides of his flange, just as a precaution when he was going out in public. He doesn't bother anymore.
It's all about confidence-building really, so you need to do whatever it is that makes you feel just a little bit more comfortable about being out of your comfort zone.

As for noises in meetings … some people come clean and tell everybody, in advance, that they have a bag so that any unusual noises can be accounted for.
Others wait to see if the bag behaves and, if not, then they quickly just apologize and explain.
Again, it's whatever feels best for you.

Going back to work and travelling abroad are huge first steps in your situation, but I am willing to bet that once you have bitten the bullet, you'll get along just fine and wonder what you worried about.

All the best and let us know how things go?

It goes without saying that you should always carry an emergency bag with everything you need for a quick change, including maybe some spare clothes. His Lordship has never needed anything like this, but it used to make him feel better just having it ready.


Hi @DMR700

I was just thinking what to say and @Lady GT got here 1st, luckily because she gives lovely detailed replies and great advice.

For extra confidence I had my big Bridget Jones pants (Tesco version), so no chance of a major catastrophe. I also made up a mini emergency kit which I kept in a make up bag and took everywhere.

Best wishes


Hi @DMR700

@Lady GT has covered everything! However just wanted to add that my husband flew for the first time yesterday since having his stoma and everything was fine. It was only from Manchester down to London but we are due to fly back from Bergen to Manchester via Oslo and now we have taken the first step we are far more confident. Don’t forget to take everything in hand luggage. We were told that we could possibly take the adhesive remover spray in the hand luggage but I didn’t risk it and got some wipes instead. We have also brought twice as much as we think we will need- just to be safe! Happy travelling :x::x::x:


Thanks @Lizalou @Lady GT @Catlover

I was thinking about keeping a change of clothes just incase! I might contact the airline re hand luggage etc and get a travel card/certificate confirming situation..



Yes @DMR700 All the previous advice covers it ...johns stoma is quite close to his belly button so I cut the hole slightly off centre and we use the banana shaped tapes just to reinforce the tapes on the bag
Weve had weekends away and 10 days holiday since John had his Colostomy in March and other than an near explosion in Morrisons ! Which was easily fixed in the disabled loo ...we have had no problems at all
John thinks his new bum is better than the original rear exit and doesn’t care at all if it’s permanent !
Must go
Cath :x::x:


HI @DMR700, regarding going on holiday- You can get a Travel Certificate from your GP, which is handy at Airport Security. It explains to them your condition, and how they should treat you, in multiple languages.( if they want to search you/ anything sets off the security scanner).

Second, your airline will give you extra baggage allowance for medical supplies, so phone them after you book. Also, if you have recently had surgery/chemo/radiotherapy, most will upgrade you for free to extra leg room seats. Again, ask when you phone about the baggage.

Take your supplies in your cabin luggage, and for stuff you can't take in the cabin bag, such as adhesive remover spray, put some into both of your hold luggage, just in case.

Get a prescription for Loperamide from your GP, in case of tummy upsets.

I've flown abroad a number of times now since having mine, and it's caused me no problems at all. Just make sure you take more supplies than you need.

Like LadyGT, I always have my changing pack with me when I go out, and usually have a change of undies & leggings, just in case. Leggings are my usual wear anyway, and they're lightweight to carry a spare pair.

It's a good idea to do a pouch change in the Airport loos before you board, but I've never had the inflating problem. You can help avoid it by avoiding carbonated drinks beforehand.

If you don't have one, you can get a RADAR key( for disabled toilets) off Amazon, again, always worth having.

You can get very small pouches to wear under swimwear- you should be able to get samples from your normal supplier.

As for swimwear, you may want something a little different to the normal super tight ones, so the pouch shows less. The ones for Stoma patients from the specialist suppliers are ridiculously expensive. Just a ruched swimsuit, or one with an overskirt is all you need.
This company I found, Liligal, has a fantastic selection of lovely swimwear that are perfect.
Although that link says bra/bikini sets, there are proper full swimsuits on there as well.

It's worth getting some of the Smiley Plasters to give extra confidence with adhesion. Getting hot & sweating can sometimes loosen the adhesive a little.

Also, remember if you have had radiotherapy, your skin will be more sensitive to sunlight, especially the area treated. So keep that covered, and plenty of sunscreen.

Being totally honest, having my stoma has made no difference to me on holiday. In fact, the only thing I would say is that the one thing I don't have to worry about now is where the nearest toilet is, which I was told would be an issue without the stoma.


Hiya... just one bit to add on to all the good tips and advice from our osto mates... the small round sticky things that come with the pouches are to cover the charcoal filters of the stoma pouch when you go in the water, and i have had a few cotton covers made which makes the pouch more comfortable when its hot. Have a lovely holiday! 😎


Thanks everyone, great tips! :x::x: