How Soon After Full TT Can I Get in the Tanning Bed and Get in the Ocean?

How soon after my TT can I get back in the tanning bed and actually get in the water at the beach? I'm not one to have a beach bod, with a full TT or not but I love going to the beach with my daughters so I must know considering summer is sneaking up. Thanks!

Doctor Answers 8

Timing for the beach after tummy tuck

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If I'm going to be truthful with you, I would say that I never codone sun bathing, period.  Tanning beds in particular are a sure way to end up with skin cancer and premature aging of the skin.  So, I would say never go to them regardless of surgery.  I do tell patients to apply sun screen in a dedicated fashion after having surgery to protect the scar while there is any pink color to it.  That lets you know that the scar is still immature.  Too much sun exposure to the scar can result in a darker scar.  It may stay pink for a year or more.  But, once the skin is reasonably healed (about 2-3 weeks), you can start applying sun screen.  I allow patient's to get into the water after all drains are removed and once the skin is healed.  Provided that the drains come out within my standard 10 day period and the skin has no healing issues, that usually means 3-4 weeks later. 

Tummy Tuck and Tanning and Swimming?

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Thank you for the question.

Tanning: never. Ocean swimming probably around 2 months postoperatively ( assuming cleared by your plastic surgeon).

Best wishes.

Tanning and Swimming in the Ocean after a Tummy Tuck

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Getting into ocean water after a tummy tuck should be deferred until 6 to 8 weeks after surgery, when you are assured that all areas of the incision is well healed. It usually takes this long to get small areas of the incision healed and sealed including the occasional spitting sutures which may occur. The effects of tanning and sun exposure on your tummy tuck incision, however, is a much longer-term concern.  Both tanning bed and sun rays can adversely effect how the scar may eventually look so such exposure should be deferred until it is well healed for at least three months after surgery. If you must use the tanning bed, I would cover the tummy tuck scar with tape until then. 

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Tummy tuck, Tanning, and swimming.

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Thank you for your question.  With respect to tanning I would recommend that you don't put the scars in danger of being burned for about six months.  The sun's rays can lead to pigment changes in this newly healing tissue.

That said, I would agree with others here that tanning will do you a disservice long term.  The sun's rays can loosen your skin's elasticity and there is clear evidence that it can lead to skin cancer as well.  I would much rather see you have a spray on tan and uses some block on the beach.

Your surgeon will have to guide you with respect to when you can get back into the water.  In my own practice if your healing well return to swimming can be as soon as three weeks.  But if you're having fluid collections under the skin that may delay your return to activity.

Your surgeon will be your best guide. You may wish to consider having your surgery sooner rather than later so that you have more healing time before the summer approaches.

I hope you enjoy your new figure this summer.

Tanning after tummy tuck

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Tanning, whether on the beach or in a tanning bed, can cause breakdown of the surgical scar. Since we try, as plastic surgeons, to achieve the optimal scar, this would be counterproductive. Additionally, I doubt that you will find a plastic surgeon around who will encourage tanning beds, which are implicated in development of skin cancer, or exposure to the sun without protective sun screen.

Ocean 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

How soon after a full TT can I get in the tanning bed and get in the ocean?

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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. You should also protect your incisions from direct UV radiation for at least a year to optimize the appearance. Regardless, the answer will vary amongst plastic surgeons and you should discuss this with your surgeon and follow his/her instructions. Best wishes!

New Incisions and Tanning Bed

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I would recommend six to eight weeks before swimming in a pool or at the beach, presuming incision has completely healed. The scar after your surgery will be very sensitive to sunlight and also tanning beds, which could result in this area having discoloration (hyperpigmentation).

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.