Travel

A Mitrofanoff should not impact your lifestyle in any way. You will be able to travel anywhere in the world to any destination you choose. You must ensure you have enough medical and catheter supplies. The most important thing is to go away and have a good time and being prepared will help.

Before you travel, make sure you have travel insurance that covers you for your medical needs. You must explain your medical condition to them; they may not understand what a Mitrofanoff is and your underlining condition. When booking travel insurance, expect it to be expensive. Although this is not ideal, it is better to ensure you can get the relevant treatment should you need it. Have a look at Free Spirit travel insurance who specialise in those who have a medical condition (please note we are not linked to the company in any way).

Here is a checklist of items you should keep with you at all times:

  • Antibacterial hand gel

  • Wet and dry wipes; to ensure you can maintain the same cleaning technique and you know that it is sterile

  • Catheters; always take more than you would usually carry, especially in hot climates you tend to drink more fluids

  • Lubricant or KY jelly for your catheters

  • Your camera; to capture lots of fun memories!

 

Contact the airline prior to travelling and ask whether you can have extra baggage, especially when travelling long haul. When going through security you may be questioned about your medical equipment. You should carry most of your supplies in your hand luggage as you will not be separated from this. It is advisable to have a letter from your GP or a travel card stating your medical needs and the equipment that you will have with you. Some hospitals have a standard letter to explain the importance of medical equipment when travelling and that you will need this in your hand luggage. It is also advisable to have some form of Medicare jewellery if you have not already got this.

Long haul

When travelling long haul, you should think about what you want to do with your bladder management and your Mitrofanoff when not being able to access a toilet. It is a good idea to use the toilet before boarding and before landing.

You might want to play it safe from the offset and tape a catheter in situ for the duration of the journey with a spigot or a flip flow on for easy drainage. Otherwise, it may be advisable to have a catheter, some tape and a drainage bag with you, in case of turbulence and not being able to access the toilet.

The thought of travelling can be daunting, especially when you are travelling for the first time after surgery. Do what makes you feel most comfortable. It is important to tell someone you are travelling, with any concerns you may have and to prepare yourself for the flight. The chances are, if you are prepared for the worst, nothing will happen.

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