Whether you’re in a hotel pool in the winter or are enjoying the open water in the summer, swimming can be both physically beneficial and mentally relaxing, so it’s natural to wonder when you can get back to it after a tummy tuck.

Swimming After A Tummy Tuck Procedure

The short answer is that it will be safe to do in a few months, but not immediately following your surgery. Swimming poses many dangers during both the early and late stages of recovery.

Early Stages

Entering any swimming pool or hot tub, even to wade, is 100% off-limits during your first month of recovery.

While your incision is still healing, pool water can seep in to your soft tissue. At best, this will cause a severe burning sensation as the chlorine neutralizes cells in your dermis, and, at worst, will cause an infection. In natural bodies of water, the risks are even higher.

Even if your incision has healed, you still should absolutely avoid pools until at least one month has passed since the surgery. Your skin is still healing, and is very sensitive. In pools, chlorine or bromine can irritate or dry out your skin, making it harder to heal properly. In lakes and the ocean, salt, algae, and pollutants can also hurt your body.

Later Stages

Your skin will be out of the danger zone after a month, but your body is still doing work behind the scenes. The good news is that water immersion won’t hurt you. The bad news is that you still should avoid strenuous physical activity until six months after the surgery, or until cleared by your doctor.

Consult with your doctor to determine when it’s okay to go swimming again. Your doctor may approve wading in a shallow pool after a month, and light swimming in a shallow pool after two or three months.

However you still might not be able to swim in the lake, ocean, or even a deep pool. If something goes wrong and you have to strain yourself to swim quickly, you could do a lot of damage to your tummy. As always, consult with your doctor. You may heal much faster than expected and be swimming in no time.

After Recovery

After six months (or less in some cases), your tummy will be completely healed and healthy. Not only can you swim, but you should! You might even find exercise easier with your new body shape.

If you’re a beach lover, we recommend having a tummy tuck procedure in October or November. That way, you will be ready to throw on a bikini and hit the beach as soon as the sun comes out!