As summer approaches, more people are asking the same thing of their cosmetic surgeons: When can I swim after my tummy tuck? Here are a few things to know as you look to schedule a surgery date that also works with your vacation plans.
Although there are steps you can take to speed up your tummy tuck recovery, your body will need time to heal. Most people can return to work within a couple weeks, and light walking is recommended during the initial recovery period. You’ll be able to gradually ramp up your activity level as you heal. However, your cosmetic surgeon may restrict you from strenuous exercise for around 6 weeks.
Immediately following your tummy tuck, you may also need to wear a compression garment to promote blood flow and encourage healing.
Going for a Dip
There isn’t a hard and fast rule about when you can swim after a tummy tuck. It may be 4 to 8 weeks, depending on your body and your cosmetic surgeon’s assessment. To avoid risking infection, you need to wait until the drains have been removed and your incision and drain sites are completely sealed. You’ll also want to protect your incisions from sun exposure to prevent the scars from darkening.
Your skin forms an important barrier against any bacteria that may be in the water. A cut or wound can compromise your skin’s defense, allowing potentially harmful things into your body.
Testing the Waters
Depending on how quickly your body heals, you may be ready for light, short swims 4 to 6 weeks after your tummy tuck. People who’ve had muscle repair will need to avoid any strenuous swimming that puts strain on their abdominal muscles. Consult with your cosmetic surgeon and follow their recommendations in order to avoid complications.
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