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How Soon Can I Swim After a Breast Reduction/lift?

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Swimming After Breast Reduction/Lift

The answer to your question really depends on what you mean by swimming.  If you are asking about vigorous swimming, I would suggest that you wait 3-4 weeks assuming that you have no problems with primary wound healing.  On the other hand, I have no problem with my patients getting in a pool to cool off a few days after surgery if they are not actively swimming.

Louisville Plastic Surgeon
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How Soon Can I Swim After a Breast Reduction/lift?

In my personal patients I allow swimming after full incision healing. Early is 3 weeks usually 6 weeks. 

Breast lift or reduction: getting wet

The "danger" of swimming is either infection from unclean water or injury from doing too much too soon. Just going into the water is safe from infedtion if the incisions are totally healed (sealed off against germs). The level of exercise you can tolerate will improve as time goes by. Most people could do full gym exercise by 6 weeks, and begin working up to it after about 3.

Hugh McLean, MD
Mississauga Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Swimming after a breast reduction or breast lift

There is considerable variability with regards to recommendations on swimming following a breast reduction or a breast lift. The recommendation that I give my patients is to refrain from swimming for a minimum of 4 weeks provided that all their wounds are healed. If there are open, unhealed areas, these need to heal before swimming.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Breast reduction and swimming restrictions

My rule is you can swim after all incision lines are closed. This can be as early as one month if all is going well. Once you are healed, enjoy the freedom of smaller breasts in a swimming suit!

Jack Peterson, MD
Topeka Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

How soon can I swim after a breast reduction/lift?

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 13 reviews

Swimming after Surgery

Thank you for your question.

Of course you will need to check with your physician, but generally if everything is well healed between 6-8 weeks post op surgery, you can go into the pool.  Keep in mind that sometimes there is delayed wound healing after surgery and if that occurs, you would need to wait and not go into a pool until all incision lines are healed.

I hope this helps.

Breast Reduction - How Soon Can I Start Exercising?

Hi Elanore8,

You should, of course, clear this with your own plastic surgeon.  In my practice, I normally advise patients to avoid exercising for three weeks after surgery, at which point they can start slowly (gentle stretching) and advance as tolerated.  If it's a question of just getting in a pool and getting the incisions wet, then it's probably okay by about a week, although if you still have some drainage or scabs (which is likely at a few days), you may have some bloody drainage or leakage into the pool.  That may encourage you to wait closer to the three weeks that would be the normal routine for surgery.

I hope that this helps, and good luck,

Dr. E

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.