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How Long After Tummy Tuck Can I Swim

by Lyndon Langley
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How Long After Tummy Tuck Can I Swim

How Long After Tummy Tuck Can I Swim

If you’re one of the many people who love going in for a dip, it’s probably not something you want to put off indefinitely. But with a good tummy tuck you can enjoy your favorite activities without having any major setbacks. Of course, there are some things you should wait longer than others. For example, if you have open abdominal surgery, you’ll need to take more time after the operation before doing certain activities like swimming. You should also be careful about prolonged exposure to water. We’ve assembled a list of what you should do right after undergoing a tummy tuck.
Right after the procedure, don’t swim immediately because you could end up causing problems by putting undue pressure on your wound. It may be tempting to jump into a pool as soon as possible, but try to give yourself at least six weeks so your body has had enough time to heal properly. In fact, you’ll usually need to stay out of the water for around six weeks after your surgery. During this time, you should avoid getting into baths, showers, saunas, Jacuzzis, hot tubs and other types of water sports. If you must get wet during those first few days, keep it brief and use warm water instead of hot. Also, try to avoid using soap, which will irritate the area just below where the skin was removed from your abdomen. And since you won’t be able to exercise yet, you shouldn’t wear tight clothing and jewelry either; they might constrict blood flow through the affected area.
Once you start feeling better, it’s okay to resume most normal activities such as running, biking, playing tennis and even working out at the gym. However, make sure to talk to your doctor first if you haven’t been active for quite a while. The same goes for strenuous activity such as basketball. If you play these activities too soon after your surgery, you run the risk of injuring your stitches. So unless you know exactly when your recovery period ends, wait until you feel ready to do them again.
And don’t forget about sex! Although it’s important to be patient during your post-surgery recuperation, intercourse isn’t necessarily off limits. As long as you use lubricant, you should be fine. Just remember that you’ll need to focus extra attention on your incision site, and keep any sharp objects away from it. Also, don’t engage in sexual positions that would cause deep penetration into your vagina — this could damage internal organs.
One final tip: If you experience any discomfort or pain when urinating, see a doctor immediately. Painful urination could indicate an infection, blockage or injury to the bladder or urethra.
With all the precautions noted above, you should now be ready to hit the beach (or lake) once you’ve passed the six week mark. Keep reading to find out how much sun exposure you should limit yourself to while healing.
It takes anywhere from four to eight weeks for scar tissue to form over the newly stitched areas. Don’t worry, though, because these scars will eventually fade away completely. They simply need to mature gradually.
Sun Exposure After Tummy Tuck Surgery
Your best bet for avoiding melanoma is to always protect yourself against ultraviolet rays. That means wearing sunscreen lotion daily. However, although tanning beds aren’t nearly as dangerous as direct sunlight, they still pose a danger to your health. One study showed they caused twice the number of skin cancer cases as regular sunshine did [Source: WebMD]. Because of this, you should limit your time outdoors to no more than 30 minutes per day.
After a tummy tuck, however, you’ll be especially vulnerable to damaging UV rays. This is partly due to the increased size of the opening left behind in your belly button. To prevent further harm, you’ll need to limit your time outside to only 10 minutes each hour. Sunburned skin tends to become inflamed and irritated quickly. Take care to moisturize regularly during this period to help keep your skin healthy and intact.
As we mentioned earlier, you should also be cautious about exposing yourself to hot water for bathing or showering. Hot water increases the amount of fluid circulating underneath your skin, making it easier for germs to enter your wounds. Plus, the heat feels nice on your healed skin, making you less likely to want to wash off the ointments and salves applied to treat your burns. So make sure you take two showers a day instead of one.
Another thing you should think about is protecting sensitive parts of your body from the sun while you’re recovering. Your new scar will be tender and painful, plus you’ll be unable to move around very well. So don’t expose your chest, back or buttocks to the sun. Instead, cover up with loose, light clothes made of natural fibers and apply plenty of sunscreen lotion. Also, never leave your postoperative dressing on for more than 15 minutes, and remove it gently every two hours.

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