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Swimming Post-Surgery: Four Things To Know

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If you’ve recently undergone top surgery, swimming after your FTM procedure may seem like an impossible feat. Will people see your scars? Will you feel comfortable with your post-operative chest? Before jumping into the pool, here are four things to know about taking a post-surgery swim:

  1. Wait at least 6-8 weeks: Immediately following your FTM procedure, you will need to take it easy. Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to care for your chest and when you will need to return for a follow-up for them to ensure that you are healing properly. Most physical activity can be resumed after 6-8 weeks, and swimming is no exception.
  2. Watch the incisions sites: When you submerge in water, the scars on the incision sites can stretch if you are not fully healed. The scarring will fade over time, but if they are still fresh, you run the risk of infection when the area is exposed to the bacteria found in the ocean and swimming pools. Also, scabs around the incision sites can remain for about eight weeks, so if you still have scabbing, wait before jumping in the water. Additionally, swimming before the 6-8 week waiting period is up can cause your blood pressure to rise, and in rare cases, that can lead to internal bleeding.
  3. Wear sunscreen: Unless you are swimming in an indoor pool, you must wear sunscreen on your chest. Sun exposure can interfere with your body’s natural healing process and make scars appear more visible.
  5. Don’t over-exert yourself: Swimming is a great physical activity that burns calories and builds muscles without putting strain on the joints. If you were a competitive swimmer prior to your FTM procedure, then you should ease into your training in order to avoid over-exerting yourself. If you aren’t a competitive swimmer but simply swim for recreation, you should also avoid overdoing it. Start slowly and work your way up to longer swims.

 If you’ve waited the required 6-8 weeks before swimming and you still don’t feel comfortable getting in the water, wait some more. You should feel completely comfortable when swimming after your FTM procedure. It’s always best to check with your surgeon if you’re unsure as to when you can swim following your FTM procedure. Each person heals differently after surgery, and it’s important to listen to your body before taking a dip in the pool.