When you can with stitches depends on your general health and the type of surgery you have had. When can you go swimming with stitches?
Large incisions can take up to ten weeks to heal – and if you have several medical problems, this can take even longer. If the skin is damaged, the wound gives bacteria direct entry into the body, making it prone to infection.
Proper wound care can increase recovery speed. A cut with stitches will begin to heal within 48 hours, with new skin starting to grow within two to three days.
Swimming soon after with stitches will delay wound healing on the outside. Seas, lakes, and rivers are also potential carriers of bacteria that can cause several problems at this stage.
Know your stitch type
There are permanent solid stitches that must be removed by a doctor and absorbable stitches taken up by the body over time. Permanent stitches can be removed after seven to 10 days – absorbable stitches can take longer. Swimming before these seams are absorbed is not recommended.
Swimming after surgery
Can you swim with stitches? You should avoid this activity until the stitches are removed and the wound has healed completely, as this reduces the risk of infection. Recommendations are that you do not swim before:
- Your GP or surgeon has confirmed that it is safe
- Your wound has healed enough
- The wound is painless
Guidelines for swimming time after surgery
Avoid swimming for varying amounts of time.
- After getting appendicitis – approx. two weeks after surgery, when the stitches are removed and the wound is completely healed
- Corneal transplant – avoid swimming for at least one month, and wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from shock damage – and do not dive
- Hip prosthesis – eight to 12 weeks is usually the recovery time here – breast stroke is the style you should avoid
- Cardiac bypass surgery – you can start swimming after about three months
Cover the wound to protect against infections. Minor injuries can benefit from waterproof plasters or bandages. The plaster will have a good seal by keeping the area clean with antibacterial sprays or wet wipes and then drying it thoroughly.
Waterproof plaster is flexible and often transparent. And since plasters are durable and breathable, they provide an extra healing property while the wound is covered. There is also a wound pad with antiseptic silver to protect the wound.