How long do I have to wait to go swimming?

I will be having a tummy tuck and bbl this coming up Monday. How long will I have to wait until I'm able to go swimming? And is it ok to go on a boat as well?

Doctor Answers 9

Swimming after a tummy tuck

is determined by how well you are healing and what you mean by swimming.  If your swimming means just going into the water above your chest, that should be easily tolerated once your incision are all healed.  If swimming means doing laps, its more likely that you will be asked to wait up to 6 weeks post-op.  Always good to clear this with your surgeon so ASK him/her as they want your recovery to go as smoothly as possible.


Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Swimming following tummy tuck surgery

Generally it is best not to swim atleast 1 month following surgery. This to avoid infection and wound breakdown. Going to a boat is fine after 1-2 weeks. 

Boonchai Taweerattanasil, MD
Thailand Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

How long do I have to wait to go swimming?

Dear Serina


You should always ask your surgeon for his or her specific instructions. In my practice, patient can generally shower on post op day 3 or 4, can submerge in water if all incisions are properly healing at 2 weeks and can swim at 6 weeks.

Afshin Parhiscar, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Tummy Tuck and going swimming

Every surgeon has their own protocol as far as when their patients can go swimming.  In general I would encourage you to wait 6 weeks before submerging your incisions under a body of water (like pool, ocean, lake, even bath tub) for prolonged period of time.  Showering of course is much quicker than submerging in a body of water.  Best of luck to you

Milind K. Ambe, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

How long do I have to wait to go swimming?

The answer depends on how well you heal and your surgeon's policies. these are questions for your surgeon, no one on this site should be telling you what to do when you already have a surgeon for those answers. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Swimming after surgery

Thank you for your question.


I usually recommend no swimming for the first 3 weeks.  You do not want any bacteria that could be in the water to get in to the incision and cause an infection.  It would be alright to go on a boat, but again I would not go in the water until after 3 weeks.

Francis Johns, MD
Greensburg Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

When Can I Swim?

Thank you for your question.

After your #tummytuck surgery, #swelling can persist for several months and will gradually improve and will look better at three months, six months, and even one year. Frequently the pubic area can become very swollen and discolored during the first two weeks due to gravity as this is the lowest area for swelling to accumulate.

You can return to full activity without restrictions at 6 weeks.
Ask your #BoardCertified #PlasticSurgeon what they recommend.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

Wait at least 3 weeks until the wounds are healed, preferably 4 weeks

After tummy tuck surgery, I advise the patients to take two weeks off from work. The patients may return to work, but may not engage in any strenuous activity. At two months, the patients start low impact cardio. At three months they can engage in more strenuous physical activity. If anything hurts or causes swelling, we ask them to back off somewhat. I prefer the patients to stay in town for two weeks if they from more than 2-3 hours away. I do not allow patients to fly before 2 to 3 weeks at the very minimum.

How long do I have to wait to go swimming?

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.

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.