How Long After Keyhole Surgery Can I Swim (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 7-10 Days

Also known as minimally invasive surgery or due to its nature of providing the doctors with a means of gaining access inside the human body through a small incision thereby removing the need to perform open surgery.

The most common purpose of keyhole surgery is to gain access to the abdomen and the female pelvic organs. This type of keyhole surgery procedure is also known as Laparoscopy. The terminology varies from each other depending on the place it is being executed on such as when keyhole surgery is performed on the chest to gain access to the thorax it is known as video-assisted thoracoscopy surgery and likewise when this surgery is performed on a joint, such as the knee then it is termed as arthroscopy.

How Long After Keyhole Surgery Can I Swim?

Type of ActivityTime
ShowerAfter 2 Days
SwimAfter 7-10 Days
Hot Water DipAfter 14 Days

The way keyhole surgery works is that a telescopic lens with a camera and a light source small enough is fitted on a thin rod that enters the body via the place the incision is made, even small surgical instruments are passed through the incisions which enable the doctors to operate on the patient. This rod is called an endoscope that gives the doctors a magnified and mildly lit up real-time video of the inside of the body.

This procedure is useful in many ways such as removal of harmful parts, diseased or damaged via surgery. Contrary to traditional open surgery, keyhole surgery has many benefits. Some of them are a decrease in the time taken to recover post-surgery, risk of scarring and internal bleeding is reduced. This procedure is mostly considered to be safe but comes with its own complications if proper methods are not followed.

Keyhole surgery or laparoscopy is useful in identifying medical conditions such as Gynecology, Urology, Gastroenterology, etc. For treatment, keyhole surgery helps with the removal of the appendix, gallbladder, parts of intestine, treating hernia, removal of stomach ulcers, etc

Going swimming after undergoing keyhole surgery is a bit tricky as there are a number of factors that might prevent the patient from going for a dip in the pool, One of them being the difference between the number of days since the keyhole surgery was performed and the day when deciding to go for swimming. However, one should not still go swimming until and unless the surgeon or physiotherapist has confirmed that it is safe or until the region where the keyhole surgery was performed has completely healed, If it isn’t healed then it can open up during time while being submerged underwater which may cause bleeding or worse, an infection.

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Why Should One Wait For At least 7-8 Days After Keyhole Surgery To Swim?

Stitches also play a vital role in determining when to go swimming after the surgery is performed. If the stitches have dissolved or are removed which usually happens within 7-10 days of surgery then it is safe to go for a dive in the pool. Although, precautions should be taken since the risk of infection is considerably high. Therefore, waiting for a longer period of time after the stitches have been removed is recommended.

Since the body is under the process of recovery post keyhole surgery, one should stay away from the swimming pool as it might cause the wound to open up which would become a hassle or even life-threatening to the person on whom this surgery was performed. People having external fixation devices or a plaster cast as also advised to not go swimming as this can damage the metal frame holding the bones in place causing pain and delayed recovery. Only after the complete healing and closing of the wound and removal of these casts, one can go swimming.

Conclusion

So, what should be the takeaway from all this information mentioned above is that any person who has undergone or will be undergoing keyhole surgery should definitely abstain from swimming for at least a month since the body is still undergoing the recovery phase post-surgery. The longer the resting phase the better the healing conditions will get. However, any kind of physical activity or workout soon after the keyhole surgery might only cause the wound to open up or may even also cause some unknown issues to arise which will only delay its recovery causing more pain in the future.

References

  1. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=sTmtDwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PT6&dq=How+Long+After+keyhole+surgery+can+i+swim&ots=CatwULiQJK&sig=arFcr_86Mv8MPUY-gajG24etzTs
  2. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/end.2009.0408