Swimming After Plastic Surgery: What You Need to Know

Dr. Sacha Obaid, Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Serving Dallas, Plano, Southlake, and Nearby Fort Worth, Texas

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By Sacha Obaid

Swimming in salt or chlorinated water can pose certain health risks following any type of cosmetic surgery. If you swim before your incision is completely healed, contaminates can lead to a wound infection. Even though water is chlorinated, it still may contain bacteria that can enter your surgical wound and lead to an infection. Salt water naturally contains a number of contaminates that may enter your wound and cause infections.

Surgical Coverings

Many doctors say it takes four to six weeks for your incisions to heal properly, but it will depend upon your healing process. Even when your wound is covered, you still might need to protect yourself against water contaminants and irritants. Wound coverings may include surgical tape, gauze, bandages, and similar sterile coverings. It is recommended that you avoid open waters for at least six weeks after your surgery. This is due to lakes and oceans not being as clean as pools. Also consider checking into a variety of post-surgical shape wear that covers your body.

Consult with your plastic surgeon.

swimming after plastic surgeryAsk your plastic surgeon beforehand, since he/she has a thorough understanding about your surgery and recuperation process. Communicate with other patients and go online to chat forums to learn about the experiences of others.

It depends on your energy level.

Remember that everyone recuperates at his or her own pace. You need to gauge your energy level while determining whether it is the right time to start swimming. Swimming takes a lot of energy and you should not push yourself. Perform your everyday activities and if after performing these activities you feel like you have energy left, it may be a good time to start swimming.

Start out slow.

Remember to resume swimming after plastic surgery at a slow pace and at a low level. Ease yourself back into swimming by starting in waist-deep water and slowly moving your way into the water. Initially, only swim or do water aerobics for five minutes. Instead of swimming at your regular pace, try and slow down.

Getting back in shape is important in all phases of life. Learning as much as you can, along with getting professional guidance, will serve you well.

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