If you have a colostomy bag it’s important that you disclose it to your travel insurance company before you go on holiday. If you don’t disclose your colostomy on your application for travel insurance it could invalidate a claim leaving you with a large bill for medical expenses and maybe repatriation too.
What Is A Colostomy?
A colostomy is a surgical procedure in which a stoma is formed by drawing the healthy end of the large intestine or colon through an incision in the anterior abdominal wall and suturing it into place. This opening, in conjunction with the attached stoma appliance, provides an alternative channel for feces to leave the body. It may be reversible or irreversible depending on the circumstances.
There are many reasons for this procedure. Some common reasons are that a section of the colon has been removed, e.g. due to colon cancer requiring a total mesorectal excision, diverticulitis, injury, etc., so that it is no longer possible for feces to exit via the anus.
Another possible reason is that a portion of the colon (or large intestine) has been operated upon and needs to be 'rested' until it is healed. In this case, the colostomy is often temporary and is usually reversed at a later date, leaving the patient with a small scar in place of the stoma. Children undergoing surgery for extensive pelvic tumours commonly are given a colostomy in preparation for surgery to remove the tumour, followed by reversal of the colostomy.
Placement of the stoma on the abdomen can occur at any location along the colon, but the most common placement is on the lower left side near the sigmoid where a majority of colon cancers occur. Other locations include the ascending, transverse, and descending sections of the colon.
Types of colostomy:
Loop colostomy: This type of colostomy is usually used in emergencies and is a temporary and large stoma. A loop of the bowel is pulled out onto the abdomen and held in place with an external device. The bowel is then sutured to the abdomen and two openings are created in the one stoma: one for stool and the other for mucus.
End colostomy: A stoma is created from one end of the bowel. The other portion of the bowel is either removed or sewn shut (Hartmann's procedure).
Double barrel colostomy: The bowel is severed and both ends are brought out onto the abdomen. Only the proximal stoma is functioning.
Travel Insurance With A Colostomy Need Not Be Expensive
Travel insurance for people with a colostomy need not be expensive if you shop around and find a specialist that can select the right underwriter for your particular circumstances. For example the price of your travel insurance will be influenced by your specific symptoms of the disease, your age and the destination and the length of your stay.