When Can U Go Swimming After Breast Augmentation?

Doctor Answers 15

Swimming After Breast Augmentation

Time to swimming after augmentation mammaplasty depends on implant positioning (subglandular vs.subpectoral), route of insertion, textured vs. smooth surface, surgeon preference, and the type of swimming you plan to do.  Sitting in a shallow pool or spa for a while is totally different than participating in the ocean swim component of a competitive triathlon.  How your wound was closed and skin tension, related to implant size and skin elasticity are also germane.  Your question is simple, but answer complex, highly individualized, and, for these reasons, best delegated to your surgeon.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 47 reviews

Swimming After Breast Augmentation

Patients are eager to return to normal activity as soon as possible following breast augmentation surgery. Unfortunately, returning to normal activity too soon can result in an increased potential for complications. Swimming is an activity that can 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 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 and in many cases, antibiotic resistant bacteria that could lead to a significant infection.

In addition, plastic surgeons generally don't recommend resumption of strenuous activity for at least six weeks following breast augmentation surgery. Swimming can create significant strain on the core muscles and should, therefore, be avoided in the immediate post-operative period.

It's important to realize 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

Going swimming after breast augmentation

It is always best to follow the recommendation of your board certified plastic surgeon as to your exercise tolerance. Your surgeon will know about your tissues, how much he had to do with the pocket, etc. When you do get the OK, make sure to wear very good sports bras. Also ease into it. Don't run a marathon the first day. We see patients post op and let them know their limitations at their appointment. Running is usually about 8 weeks out. Swimming will depend on many variables, including how strenuous your swim is going to be. Are we talking long competitive swims in the ocean, or cooling off in the pool? Please talk to your plastic surgeon and make a plan about your exercise tolerance.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

6 Weeks After Surgery

At 2 weeks after your surgery, you should be okay to go underwater if your recovery is going well. Swimming should not be done until about 6 weeks after surgery, since it is quite vigorous and requires upper body strength. However, please follow your surgeon's advice if they advise something different.

If you're outside, please make sure you cover up your incisions from sun exposure, as not doing so can make your scars much more noticeable.  

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

When can you go swimming after breast augmentation?

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 breast augmentation

I would disagree with the response that there is no science behind the answer to this question. 

There are two types of healing that might be affected by physical activity and soaking an incision after breast augmentation surgery. The first is the healing internally around the implant. This is thought to be healed by 10 days but there is no good way to verify it and so generally, full activity is resumed at two weeks of uneventful healing. 

The second type of healing applies to the healing of the incision whether it is for breast augmentation or anything on body skin. It takes two weeks of uneventful healing to build up about 80% of incision tensile strength. Prior to this, soaking, whether in a bathtub, hot tub, or swimming pool causes softening and weakening of the incisional scar. Therefore, I recommend keeping the incision dry and protected from soaking for two weeks. After that you should avoid anything that irritates the incisional scar while it is trying to mature. Drying and cracking, friction, and sun are the most common offenders. 


Scott L. Replogle, MD
Boulder Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Exercise after breast augmentation

Every plastic surgeon will have different guidelines regarding what and when you can resume physical activity after surgery. Best to consult with your individual physician. You may be able to resume lower body exercises or things that don't involve a lot of arm motion sooner.

M. Dean Vistnes, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Full activity is permitted four weeks after breast augmentation in my practice.

In my practice you would be permitted to immerse the breasts and water when the sutures are removed and five days. Active swimming using the arms would be permitted at four weeks.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

When Can U Go Swimming After Breast Augmentation?

Getting in the water where you can touch the bottom is probably OK for most patients after 2 weeks. If you are truly swimming, closer to 8 weeks. This assumes the implants are under the muscle. It would be shorter with subglandular placement.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

When Can U Go Swimming After Breast Augmentation?

Yes, you can swim but the time period will vary from surgeon to surgeon. The swimming pool is allowed at 2 weeks in my practice as long as the wound is well healed. For anything less clean, I would wait at least 4 weeks.

Kurtis Martin, MD
Cincinnati Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 74 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.