How Soon Can I Swim After a Breast Reduction/lift?

Doctor Answers 11

Breast reduction and swimming restrictions

My rule is you can swim after all incision lines are closed. This can be as early as one month if all is going well. Once you are healed, enjoy the freedom of smaller breasts in a swimming suit!

Topeka Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Swimming After Breast Reduction

Before swimming you will need to make sure all wounds are healed and closed. You should be able to start swimming after 3-4 weeks.

Jeffrey Weinzweig, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Best to be safe-- wait!

Patients are eager to return to normal activity as soon as possible following cosmetic surgery.Unfortunately, returning to normal activity too soon can result in an increased potential for complications. Swimming and time in the jacuzzi are both activities that could potentially have negative consequences if resumed too soon.
Theoretically, once the skin edges have sealed in about 48 hours following surgery, these activities can be resumed.In reality, small absorbable interrupted sutures may break through the skin and become exposed.In this situation infection could occur in a patient who is submerged in a jacuzzi, pool, pond, or ocean.Each of these environments may have unique bacteria that may be antibiotic resistant.
In addition, plastic surgeons generally don’t recommend resumption of strenuous activities for a least six weeks following breast reduction.Swimming can create significant strain on the core muscles and should therefore be avoided in the immediate post-operative period.
It’s important to remember that every patient’s procedure and post-operative course is unique.For these reasons, make sure you consult your plastic surgeon before getting into the water.
It’s important to remember that every patient’s procedure and post-operative course is unique.For these reasons, make sure you consult your plastic surgeon before getting into the water.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Swimming After Breast Reduction/Lift

The answer to your question really depends on what you mean by swimming.  If you are asking about vigorous swimming, I would suggest that you wait 3-4 weeks assuming that you have no problems with primary wound healing.  On the other hand, I have no problem with my patients getting in a pool to cool off a few days after surgery if they are not actively swimming.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

How Soon Can I Swim After a Breast Reduction/lift?

In my personal patients I allow swimming after full incision healing. Early is 3 weeks usually 6 weeks. 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Breast lift or reduction: getting wet

The "danger" of swimming is either infection from unclean water or injury from doing too much too soon. Just going into the water is safe from infedtion if the incisions are totally healed (sealed off against germs). The level of exercise you can tolerate will improve as time goes by. Most people could do full gym exercise by 6 weeks, and begin working up to it after about 3.

Hugh McLean, MD
Mississauga Plastic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Swimming after a breast reduction or breast lift

There is considerable variability with regards to recommendations on swimming following a breast reduction or a breast lift. The recommendation that I give my patients is to refrain from swimming for a minimum of 4 weeks provided that all their wounds are healed. If there are open, unhealed areas, these need to heal before swimming.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Swimming after Breast Reduction/Lift

Thank you for your question. Usually patients can start to soak in  pool about 3-4 weeks after surgery. It really depends on if your incisions are healed or not. If they are not all the way healed I would avoid soaking them or getting them wet. Best of luck!

Dhaval M. Patel 

Double Bord Certified 

Plastic Surgeon 

Hoffman Estates 




Dhaval M. Patel, MD
Hoffman Estates Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

How soon can I swim after a breast reduction/lift?

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 26 reviews

Swimming after Surgery

Thank you for your question.

Of course you will need to check with your physician, but generally if everything is well healed between 6-8 weeks post op surgery, you can go into the pool.  Keep in mind that sometimes there is delayed wound healing after surgery and if that occurs, you would need to wait and not go into a pool until all incision lines are healed.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,484 reviews

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.