One of the most frequent questions we receive in consultation each year is: When is it safe to go to the pool or go to the beach after an augmentation mammoplasty procedure? Generally, three weeks after surgery, most women can return to the pool or take that trip to the beach without worrying about damaging their results.While most patients feel “ready” to return to these activities before three weeks after surgery, the skin tissues need time to heal until the skin’s water-resistant property makes it safe to wear. swim, bathe or go to the beach. Even after three weeks, we urge patients to dry their swimsuit tops and wipe thoroughly with a towel for a few more weeks after getting out of the water. This is so that the healing incisions do not remain damp from a wet bathing suit. Even before three weeks after surgery, most patients can change into their bathing suits and sit by the pool or beach, even stepping into the waist-deep pool to share with family and friends.
The other common question is: When can I tan after a breast augmentation procedure?While most women can get into a pool at three weeks, the incisions used for breast augmentation require a longer time before they can “tolerate” the sun’s harmful rays. The scar tissue is similar to the fragile tissues of a newborn and does not tolerate sun exposure during healing. Early tanning of incisions can damage healing tissues, resulting in red, raised scars or wide scars. A good rule of thumb to judge when the incisions are able to tolerate the sun is when they have faded to a pale color and are flat and smooth. This generally takes a few months to a year or more to occur and varies greatly from patient to patient. We recommend patients avoid direct exposure to the sun or tanning booth light until these signs of healing are present. We also recommend that patients apply sunscreen directly to the incisions before putting on swimsuits, in case ultraviolet light – the harmful rays of sunlight – passes through the material.