Activities allowed during recovery

Hi! I had chiari decompression surgery a month ago today and am feeling rather good (after lots of bad days). I asked my dr at my 2 week appointment when I could swim again, he said 2 weeks after that day. However, I still have surgical glue on my incision, is it safe to swim with that? TIA!

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Hey Rebecca,
I think this is something you would need to confirm with your neurosurgeon. I’m not sure how some glues would react to highly chlorinated water. Some maybe OK, but some may not. He may have said ‘in 2 weeks’ but I’d suggest if the glue is still there, it’s still healing underneath. The glue acts like a scab, it keeps the wound clean on the inside and blocks infections from the outside. When the body is finished with a scab it gets flakey and falls off. So, is that what happens with glue?? I’m really unsure.

Now, I’m not a Dr and with all of my surgeries I was stapled back together, so my experience with glue is nil. But if you are querying it, then you need a professional’s opinion and the best professional to get that from is the Dr who put it there. In my personal opinion, the very last thing you want to do is compromise the healing of that wound. I completely understand that swimming maybe your thing BUT get an infection in that wound and swimming could be the very last of your concerns.
Don’t risk it.
Sorry, that may seem a little harsh, but waiting that little bit longer until either the glue comes free of it’s own accord or your neurosurgeon gives you express advice (and by express I mean ‘Yes’ or ‘No’) to that question, it will be much safer than you or I ‘just having a guess’. I have seen the consequences of neuro-infections and they can be devastating.
You NEED a your neurosurgeons specific clearance.

Merl from the Modsupport Team

Hi. I’m a nurse and all I see are post surgical patients. It is most likely safe for you to swim now. What you have on your incision is meant to protect your incision while it’s healing. Once it’s healed, it’s unnecessary. Just let it come off on it’s own. Don’t worry about getting it wet.

My neurosurgeon told me at week 4 that I could submerge my suture (which had completely closed and healed at this point). That meant baths, swimming, etc. I have not tried swimming yet, but I would maybe have someone nearby in case this is a pool you have at your home. I’d hate to think you could get off balance or something while submerged and not have anyone there to assist. Hope this helps!