I Had Mohs Surgery on Lower Leg. When is It Safe to Swim?

I had surgery yesterday to remove squamous cell (about the size of a nickle. I have three inside stitches, and a bandage that will be changed every 4 days by the Dr. thanks!

Doctor Answers 3

Do not swim until sutures are removed

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Wounds on the lower leg are typically under a great deal of tension. In addition, pool water can harbor bacteria (especially busy public pools because the chlorine levels are sometimes not kept up to snuff). To maximize the cosmesis of your wound, refrain from any exercise (including swimming) until your stitches are removed. Remember, at the end of one month, your wound is only 40% of its original strength. Good luck, Dr. Mariwalla

New York Dermatologic Surgeon

Mohs surgery on lower leg and return to swimming

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I recommend to my patients that they do not swim until at least one day after the stitches are removed and the wound evaluated. There is no such thing as a guaranteed water proof dressing or bandage so I would not suggest you take a chance. The lower leg does not heal as well as other areas because of its poor circulation. Infection, if develops, can be very serious, so don't take a chance.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Swimming after surgery

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This is really a personal preference of your own surgeon so I would recommend that you ask him. In our practice if you have sutures in your lower leg we do not recommend swimming for 2 weeks.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon

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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.