What can I cover my incisions with to swim in the ocean at 3 weeks post op BA?

I will be at 3 weeks post op from a breast augmentation when I go on vacation. I've read a few question/answers related to swimming and the time frame for being allowed to submerge incisions is from 2-6 weeks. Is there anything that I can place over my incisions (under the breast) to protect them from bacteria just in case? I'd rather be safe than sorry while still being able to enjoy my vacation.

Doctor Answers 5

Swimming after breast augmentation

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Thank you for your question. There is no reason why you can't go for a dip in the ocean 3 weeks after breast augmentation provided your incisions have healed normally. I advise my patients that they can shower the day after surgery, and go in the lake or ocean 1 week after. I would not advise swimming laps or actively swimming in the ocean because of the potential for swelling or pectoralis muscle cramps, but not infection. Of course you should discuss this with your surgeon before taking the plunge. Good luck.

Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Swimming after breast augmentation

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I do not recommend that my patients swim in the ocean only three weeks following breast augmentation.  It probably would be OK, but there is likely some extra risk of infection. Definitely be certain that the wounds are healed before the swim.

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews


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I don't allow my patients to submerge in bodies of water for extended periods for at least 6 weeks after surgery.  I'm rather conservative.  

Asif Pirani, MD, FRCS(C)
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Swim after 3 weeks from breast augmentation?

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Once the incision is healed and not draining (usually about a week) the skin protection barrier is intact and submerging should not be an issue. Swimming vigorously is a separate issue, as it takes about 6 weeks for the healing strength to approach 90% of its ultimate strength, and that is usually the guideline for return to full activity.

Hopefully you will see your surgeon before you leave for advice.

All the best.

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Swimming after Breast Augmentation

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Your skin incision will heal within just a few days. I allow my patients to submerge in water for short times, 4 days after surgery. Speak with your surgeon and ask for specific recommendations as this will depend on the surgical technique that your surgeon uses.

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.