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How Long After a TT Can You Swim Without Risk of Infection?

I have a TT, with lipo, and hernia repair scheduled for the first week of June. Will I be able to swim in the ocean on a vacation 8 weeks later, or will the risk of infection still be too high?

Doctor Answers (15)

Water and tummy tuck

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Thank you for your post. In general, your incisions need to be perfect, all drains removed and the drain site healed perfect, and the muscle repair needs to be mature with no areas of fluid collection. If the incisions are not perfect, or drain site, then you are at risk of infection in pools, hot tubs, oceans/lakes. You don't have to have perfect incisions to shower, just not submerge in bath or the above. However, I ask my patients to wear their abdominal binder non-stop, except for showers, for at least 4 weeks, so unless you want to hang out at the beach with your binder, then no beach.
Best Wishes,
Pablo Prichard, MD


Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

How long after a tummy tuck can you swim without risk of infection?

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Hello! Thank you for your question! On average, a period of approximately 3-4 weeks on average is typical. Submerging in stagnant water, be it bathtubs, jacuzzis, pools, lakes, oceans, etc. can certainly increase your chance for infections. I usually await the incisions to be fully healed prior to allowing for this type of activity. If you do have any wound issues or delayed healing, expect that you will be restricted from doing such things. However, I allow my patients to shower and clean incisions at 3 days postoperative. Regardless, the answer will vary amongst plastic surgeons and you should discuss this with your surgeon and follow his/her instructions. Best wishes!

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Swimming After Tummy Tuck

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Normally, I recommend patients avoid swimming pools or whirlpools for at least 1 month. If there is no complication with your recovery, then it may be okay to swim 8 weeks later as you'd like. However, you should talk to your surgeon to make sure.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Swimming after Tummy Tuck

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If you have an uncomplicated recovery you should be able to swim as soon as 4 weeks after surgery. That does not mean you will be ready for Olympic competition, but your scar will be healed enough to be exposed to pool or sea water. I allow my patients to shower the day after surgery!

If you have any wound healing issues then this may be delayed until they resolve. The more time you can give yourself between surgery and an important vacation, the better!

Mark Preston, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Tummy Tuck recovery

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if you heal without any complications, then you should be able to return to ful physical activity including swimming at 6 weeks following surgery.

Arian Mowlavi, MD
Laguna Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Tummy tuck and exercise

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If you want to swim after a tummy tuck, I usually have patients wait about 6-8 weeks until after surgery to start vigorous activity.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

How long to wait after tummy tuck?

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8 weeks will be a sufficient time to recover prior to swimming as long as 1) your incision heals well and there is no opening and  2) you are healthy and feeling good.  You should also see your plastic surgeon prior to going on your vacation so that she/he can clear you.

Sugene Kim, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Swimming in the ocean following a tummy tuck

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For a variety of reasons, I would recommend waiting approximately 8 weeks following your tummy tuck before swimming in the ocean. You would want to also make sure that all your incisions are completely healed before doing this.

Finally, ask your plastic surgeon his/her recommendations as they were the one who performed your procedure.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Swimming After Tummy Tuck

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I would not have a problem with you swimming 8 weeks after your TT, assuming that there were no open wounds.  My concerns about swimming after surgery are related more to the stress on the surgical reapir than to any increase risk of infection.

John Whitt, MD
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

How Long After a Tummy Tuck Can You Swim Without Risk of Infection?

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Regarding: "How Long After a TT Can You Swim Without Risk of Infection?
I have a TT, with lipo, and hernia repair scheduled for the first week of June. Will I be able to swim in the ocean on a vacation 8 weeks later, or will the risk of infection still be too high
?"

Surgical infections can happen from intravenous sources or from open wounds. Once the drains are removed and the wounds are sealed, there is no reason why you cannot take baths or wade into the water. The risk of infection will not be higher.

However, the question is when can your muscle repair and overlying skin heal sufficiently to tolerate the  stresses involved in swimming. I prefer my patients wait at least 4 weeks before challenging the repair.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.