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Going through airport security with a stoma

Holidays tend to be the highlight of most peoples year. After all, it’s the perfect opportunity to escape normal life and spend some quality time with your family or friends. Having a stoma certainly shouldn’t get in the way of this.

A common concern that ostomates have when it comes to travelling is actually being at the airport, more specifically going through airport security.

The good news is, security staff are generally really good at treating people with a stoma respectfully and discreetly. So there really is no reason to be worried when going through airport security.

If the security scanner does detect your stoma bag, you don’t actually have to show it to security staff, nor do you need to remove clothing to expose it or let them touch it. You will probably simply be asked to rub your hand against the bag on the outside of your clothes, and this should be the extent of the examination.

Travel certificates

One of the easiest ways of avoiding any hassle at airport security is to bring a travel certificate with you. 

Travel certificates explain your condition and the medical supplies you are carrying in a number of different languages. So, if you’re struggling to communicate with airport security staff, you can always show them your travel certificate. 

It’s true that not all airport security staff are educated on what a stoma actually is or the supplies that you need to be carrying with you. By carrying your travel certificate with you, you’ll be able to avoid any issues or awkward situations at airport security.

Key things to keep in mind

  • While you can request not to go through a body scanner at the airport, if you choose to do this you will need to have a full-body search. It’s completely up to you which you are more comfortable with.
  • Lots of UK airports have a hidden conditions lanyard or bracelet scheme which are available from reception areas at the airport. Wearing them lets staff know that you have additional needs.
  • While you will receive a more respectful and discreet experience at airport security, having a stoma won’t exclude you from having security checks altogether. So you should be prepared for some sort of body search.

Airport security is just one aspect of airports and travelling, find out more about travelling with a stoma.

Related products

You want to feel comfortable and confident when travelling. Oakmed produce a range of bags and accessories that are designed for easy use, security and peace of mind.


Our Primo® range of stoma bags give you the perfect fit with outstanding adhesion. Our Closed Maxi Hydrocolloid Primo also gives you more capacity for situations where you may need to go longer between bag changes.


Our Drainable Hydrocolloid®  range is flexible, hypoallergenic and skin friendly, with a soft touch closure that is easy to use.

EasyLease®  Spray

Easy Lease Spray a medical adhesive remover with antiseptic tea tree oil that doesn’t sting. To remove bags gently and easily without leaving adhesive residue on the skin.

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