Swimming 4 Weeks After Tummy Tuck?

I am 4 weeks post Tummy Tuck, can I go swimming in a pool? I have no complications, except for a tiny bump between breastbones.

Doctor Answers 9

Tummy tuck and swimming

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I dont let my patients do any exercise until 6 weeks.  So if you were my patient I would say wait.  Every physician has their own postoperative plan.  I would be concerned that you may break a suture.

Good luck.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 88 reviews

Swimming after a Tummy Tuck

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Hi there-

I think it's probably important to clarify what you mean... there is swimming, like what we might see a grandfather do with his grandkids in the backyard pool, and then there is the whole Michael Phelps thing....

If you were my patient I would not mind if you got into a chlorinated swimming pool 4 weeks after surgery, as long as you were just sitting on the steps of the pool, taking a dip. I would NOT want you actually making a stroke or exercising in any way.

You should contact your surgeon to see what exactly they recommend.

Congratulations on your new tummy!

Swimming 4 Weeks After Tummy Tuck?

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Thank you for the question. Your plastic surgeon will be in the best position to guide you in regards to activity resumption after tummy tuck surgery. From the healing standpoint most patients are able to swim again starting 3 to 6 weeks after surgery. You will want all incision lines to be completely healed.  You will also want to be mostly pain-free and free from concern such as muscle spasm. From the safety standpoint, much of the timing of returning to swimming will depend on exactly what you mean by “swimming”. For some people this means wading knee-high in shallow water;  for some people it may means swimming  long distances in choppy water.  For this reason, return to activities should be individualized and gradual. In other words, start slow and "listen to your body" as you gradually progress in intensity/duration of exercise. Best wishes.    

Swimming, maybe, martial arts, no

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There are different levels of "swimming".  If you are just relaxing in a pool it should be fine.  If you are doing the butterfly stroke it might be more problematic.  Six weeks is the usual point for maximum tissue strength after stitching.  Good luck!

Light wading in water ok after weeks

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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

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Swimming Guidelines Following Tummy Tuck

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Patients are eager to return to normal activity as soon as possible following cosmetic surgery. Unfortunately, returning to normal activity too soon can result in an increased potential for complications. Swimming and spending time in the Jacuzzi are both activities that could potentially have negative consequences if resumed too soon. Theoretically, once the skin edges have sealed in about 48 hours following surgery, these activities can be resumed. In reality, many patients have drains in place for three weeks or longer. Additionally, small absorbable interrupted sutures may break through the skin and become exposed. In this situation infection could occur in a patient who is submerged in a Jacuzzi, pool, pond, or ocean. Each of these environments may have unique, and in many cases antibiotic resistant bacteria that could lead to a significant infection.

In addition, plastic surgeons generally don't recommend resumption of strenuous activities for at least six weeks following abdominoplasty. Swimming can create significant strain on the core muscles of the abdomen and should therefore be avoided in the immediate post-operative period.

It's important to remember that every patient's procedure and postoperative course is unique. For these reasons, make sure you consult your plastic surgeon before getting into the water.  

You can swim 4 weeks after a tummy tuck.

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Four weeks after a tummy tuck, you are fairly solidly healed.  The tissues have over 80% of their final strength.  After a month, we let patients do pretty much anything, and we have seen no bad effects.  So go ahead and swim.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Wading, relaxing; yes, but actually swimming vigorously; no

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Each patient and their surgeon may have different restrictions, so we can only give general information. Our tummy tuck patients can usually resume driving and light household or office activities in 1.5-2 weeks. We recommend waiting 6 weeks for working out, exercising, etc.www.expertplasticsurgeon.com/html/tummy-tuck.html

Gently wading in a clean pool should be ok now, but I would not recommend stroking or holding or playing with children or others until 6 weeks. More for any rough activities.

Sutton Graham II, MD
Greenville Plastic Surgeon

Abdominoplasty and swimming

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I assume you are not talking about doing laps. You can get in a pool, but I would be careful not to stretch the abdomen too much. I have my patients resume exercise and sit ups 6-8 weeks after surgery. By that time, there's enough tissue healing and scarring that you will not compromise the results.

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.