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How Soon Can You Swim After Breast Augmentation Surgery?

woman laying on floor next to pool

You will be able to return to your favourite leisure activities, like swimming, without any complications following a breast augmentation surgery — especially since this type of cosmetic procedure is likely to have you eager to show off your new beach body during the summer season. But, while engaging in exercise and recreation is important, it’s just as important to wait an appropriate amount of time after your surgery has been performed before hitting the pool, in order to avoid any unexpected complications.

While your breast augmentation recovery time may vary, likely, your cosmetic surgeon will not give you clearance for swimming until at least 4-6 weeks after your breast augmentation surgery. For this reason, you may want to consider scheduling your procedure at least a month before you plan to visit a pool or the beach.

Why You Can’t Swim Right Away

As with all plastic surgery procedures, it’s important to wait until you have fully recovered from your surgery before you resume your regular day-to-day activities, especially those that involve exercise, physical activity, and sun exposure. Swimming before your breast augmentation incisions have fully healed puts you at increased risk of infection from waterborne microbes and bacteria. This can compromise not only the results of your surgery but your overall good health.

In addition, since swimming is an activity that engages the chest muscles, swimming before the incisions have healed can put a strain on those incisions and the surrounding skin tissue, further compromising your healing process.

If you are visiting a pool or beach before the 4-6 week mark, it is possible to dip your toes into the water or wade in until you are waist-deep. Be sure to apply sunscreen liberally, as your incision sites will be especially sensitive to sun exposure.

Does Wearing A Bikini Create Any Additional Risk?

After your breast augmentation surgery, you will need to wear a supportive bra (like a soft, supportive sports bra) for at least 6-8 weeks post-procedure, while your breast implants settle into their final spot. Most regular swimsuit tops, including bikini tops, do not offer adequate support for your healing body and should be avoided during this time. Underwire bras or underwire bikini tops, meanwhile, may cause irritation and make healing more difficult.

Since your breast implants will not have settled before at least a month has passed, you’re also discouraged from swimsuit shopping too soon after your procedure — however tempting it may be. Instead, it’s best to wait until you have fully recovered to have a more accurate idea of what your post-surgery body will look like in a new swimsuit or bikini.

How Long Does It Take To Fully Recover From Breast Augmentation Surgery?

Recovery times for those who have had breast augmentation surgery can vary. Most physical discomfort will subside after 2-3 days, while full recovery is expected after three months. Most patients will be able to resume leisure and physical activity, such as swimming, around the two-month mark.

What Kind Of Aftercare Is Recommended?

After your breast augmentation surgery, your surgeon will recommend that you wear a soft, supportive bra during your recovery period, in addition to loose clothing. Sleeping on your back is recommended during your recovery period, and you should avoid strenuous exercise or lifting anything weighing more than five pounds for the first three months. Your surgeon may prescribe antibiotics and medication for pain management, which should be taken according to the recommended schedule. Your surgeon may also instruct you on how you can massage your chest area to provide additional relief from any pain and discomfort.

woman floating in pool

Breast Augmentation FAQ

Can I Shower After A Breast Augmentation?

Yes, you can shower 48 hours after a breast augmentation. However, you should not take baths until your incisions have fully healed. After showering, be sure to fully dry your incisions, and reapply clean gauze as instructed by your surgeon.

Can I Use A Steam Room Or Sauna After Breast Augmentation?

Steam rooms or saunas should be avoided for roughly eight weeks, following your breast augmentation to allow your incisions to heal fully and to avoid the risk of infection.

Should I Be Worried About Sunlight After Breast Augmentation?

You should always apply sunscreen to your chest area at least 30 minutes before sun exposure. Scars may be more sensitive to sunlight and may darken if exposed to too much sun. Keep your incision sites covered and protected as much as possible when going outdoors.

What Other Activities Should I Avoid?

Resuming your favourite activities will be possible after your breast augmentation surgery, but you will need first to give yourself plenty of recovery time. Strenuous exercise, which may strain your incision site and chest muscles, should be avoided for the first month, though you are encouraged to take short walks to promote blood circulation. You should also avoid driving for the first 2-3 weeks, and sexual activity should be avoided for at least two weeks. During your consultation and following your surgery, your plastic surgeon will be able to accurately advise which activities you should avoid, and for how long in order to encourage full, complication-free recovery.

Dr. Thomas Bell | SpaMedica

by Dr. Thomas Bell

Dr. Tom Bell, with over 25 years of practice experience dedicated to cosmetic plastic surgery, pioneered Avenue Road and Yorkville as Toronto’s Beverly Hills of plastic surgery with his first surgical center in Yorkville’s Avenue road corridor back in 1986. Named as Canada’s best plastic surgeon by W magazine and one of the world’s best, Dr. Bell returns home to join the SpaMedica Plastic Surgery team as the reigning King of Plastic Surgery.
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