Swimming After Breast Reduction?

Hi, I'm on a very competitive college swim team, and have very large breasts (DD). I'm 5'6 and very tiny and muscular elsewhere. I was wondering if I were to get a breast reduction, how soon I could resume swimming (at an intense level) Thank you

Doctor Answers 10

Swimming after breast reduction?

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.  I usually restrict vigorous activity as such for about 4 weeks.  Regardless, the answer will vary amongst plastic surgeons and you should discuss this with your surgeon and follow his/her instructions. Best wishes!

Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Exercise following breast reduction

You should wait at least three weeks before swimming if you have a breast reduction.  Intense exercise may be resumed at around the six week mark.  Use your own judgment and be reasonable about your activity.

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Breast reduction

Patients that undergo most plastic surgery procedures should avoid vigorous workout acitivities for at least 6-8 weeks.  If wounds have not healed, then they shoudl wait a bit longer.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Swimming After Breast Reduction

There are several surgical techniques associated with breast reduction surgery and most of them involve incisions on the breast.  You need to allow your body sufficient healing time following this surgery.  Assuming your post-operative course is uneventful and your healing is normal, I believe you could return to swimming and submerge the breasts after six weeks (but every patient heals differently).  Small areas of delayed healing may require a slightly longer period of recovery and may delay your return to swimming a bit longer.  Please be sure to have a board-certified plastic surgeon discuss your options regarding breast reduction surgery.   

Max Lehfeldt, MD, FACS
Pasadena Plastic Surgeon
3.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Resuming Competitive Swimming after Breast Reduction

A few years ago the Internet was abuzz after Romanian Tennis payer Simona Halep had a Breast Reduction to enable her to improve her already gret tennis game. If your breasts are large enough to warrant a breast reduction Avignon the procedure will improve your swimming speed. In my opinion you could go back to swimming in 4-6 weeks. Unlike extremities, the breasts are held close to the body and do not perform any of the swimming there is no scientific reason you need to protect them more than ne would a fracture in a cast (6 weeks). 

Good luck. 


Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Competetive Swimming After Reduction

Assuming normal healing without any problems, I would likely allow you to resume intense swimming after 4-6 weeks.  I would let you begin kickboarding, without using your arms to propel yourself, after a couple of weeks.

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

Swimming after reduction

As you can see everyone agrees on about two months. Even that could be early. I would have said the same thing except I no longer do that operation. For the last 10 years I do only the "Scarless" and I allow my patients full activity the moment they feel up to it.

Sherwood Baxt, MD
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Swimming after Breast Surgery

There are really two questions to be answered here.  One, when will your incision be completely sealed and healed to allow you to get into a community pool and Two, when will you be sufficiently recovered to be able to swim at a competitive level.   If you heal without complications you may be able to start swimming in 6 to 8 weeks, but you may need more like 3 months before your energy level and range of motion is more back towards normal.    

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews


I would wait for at least 2 months before starting up with swimming -like lap swimming-that way you know you are fully healed

Edward J. Bednar, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 125 reviews

Swimming After Breast Reduction?

Thank you for the question.

Assuming you do well after breast reduction surgery ( all incision lines heal without complications),  it will likely be at least 6 to 8 weeks before you are swimming at an “intense level”. Please let me know if you set  new personal records.

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 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.