View Full Version : Swimming after abdominal surgery

November 26th, 2006, 08:49 PM
I've just gotten back in the pool after 10 weeks of recovering from abdominal surgery (hysterectomy, to be precise).

Right now, my stomach feels number after I swim (free, back, breast, no fly).

I was wondering if anyone who's been there can offer some thoughts on their experience and any guidance. I have no idea what the "new normal" is - other than it feels heavenly to be back in the water.


November 26th, 2006, 09:42 PM
I've swam after 3 abdominal surgeries. The best advice I can give you is to take it slow and be patient with your body! It takes a while for everythiing to get back to normal and to get your strength back. Swimming is definitely the best exercise for you to be doing!

November 27th, 2006, 10:10 AM
I had laproscopic (sp?) surgery on St. Patrick's Day this year. They took a look at my woman parts and did an emergency apendectomy. I was getting better for about one week but then started getting sick again pretty quickly. I turned out to have a major serious infection and was in the hospital for another week. The infection wasn't completely cleared for another 4 weeks. I started swimming again for small periods of time starting about 14-15 weeks after the surgery. What I did do was start doing walking/power walking in small amounts as soon as I got home. It started as a liesurely stroll around the house, and eventually leisurely for about 2 blocks. Once my stomach starting aching (It would usually suddenly hit like I was about to throw up) I would stop. Once I hit 10 weeks (and at this point the infection had just cleared) I started getting my heart rate up while walking. I had bought a heart rate monitor just before I got sick and it turned out to be especially handy. You wouldn't believe how fast your heart rate skyrockets for many weeks after recovering from surgery.
I was afraid to get back in the pool because the infection was highly involved with my woman parts and there was a suspician that I got the infection from the hot tub at the pool in the first place. My genecologist told me I should stop swimming for good. I told her that was simply not an option, so she prescribed cream and a vaseline to use before and after swimming to prevent irritation and infection down south. I would only do a warm up and get out to start. I also alternated swimming workouts with power walking workouts. I found it was much easier to pull back the pace with walking rather than swimming. I was having to stop working out due to my abdomen telling me to stop through until about the First week of July. I didn't really feel good in the water again until sometime in July.
But that was just me, and I'm very young still.
The main thing is, trust what your body is telling you.
I learned that feeling that gut wrenching sickness was the sign to STOP working out though. Just about every day the amount I could go before feeling that would lengthen.
Good luck and Good health!

November 27th, 2006, 01:42 PM
I have had more abdominal surgeries than I can count (somewhere above 6). All within 5 years. Some were major (tumor removal with c-section like surgeries) and some were minor (laprioscopy). All I can tell you is to relax and take your time. You abs may feel numb for a while but it will get better. Be careful with fly for a while. You will get back to "normal" soon. I had a c-section and was back in a meet 10 weeks later. Not feeling great but able to dive and swim. Now, 20 months later, I feel perfectly normal.

Good luck.


November 29th, 2006, 10:07 PM
Thanks to you all for your comments and advice. I don't feel quite as nervous as I did when I posted.