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 17

Ok to swim 8 weeks post tummy tuck

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If you heal without issues, I allow patients to swim at 6 weeks.   If there is any evidence of wound breakdown, blistering, or skin separation; I encourage them to be safe and not swim until the incision fully seals.   If you want to ensure that you can swim during your vacation, you may consider performing surgery 1 month earlier or delaying your trip by 1 month.   This way, you have a time window to heal if you develop a wound postop.   

I wish you a safe recovery and wonderful trip!!

Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Swimming after a tummy tuck.

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I generally tell my patients to wait 4-6 weeks before swimming....if they have fully healed and had no complications. You will want to check with your surgeon and make sure he gives you the all clear. 

Francis X. Fleming, MD
Kennewick Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

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

Pablo Prichard, MD
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 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 28 reviews

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

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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 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.

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

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, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 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
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 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.

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.