Water on incision

Not sure if I should post this on surgery and recovery or exercise and sports but here goes!

I'm about 3 weeks post implant and feeling great. However I haven't taken a shower without covering my incision site yet. I had internal stitches and that surgical glue to close it so it looks nice and there's only a tiny scab left, but I've just been afraid it's going to sting when the water finally hits it. My doctor advised me that before getting it wet I should use alcohol wipes on it, so that's what I've been doing for probably an extra week. I'm just SO nervous it's going to hurt when the water finally hits it. 

The reason I'm thinking about this right now is because I'm just wrapping up my first year of college. My boyfriend and our close friends (all vaccinated) are planning on taking a trip to a nearby river and just spending the day out there. There's a rope swing which I definitely won't be using, but I do want to go and have fun with my friends before they leave to go back home. I'll keep my incision covered from the sun but I'm worried about the water both hurting and maybe infection? Since I don't know what's in it.

I'm not really sure what my question is, I guess I just want to know when y'all finally took a real shower. Did it sting? Am I waiting way too long to properly clean it? Is it safe to expose my incision to water that might not be clean? What do you guys think? Thanks in advance!



Water on incision

by Julros - 2021-05-09 14:21:13

If alcohol doesn't sting, then water certainly isn't going to hurt. I don't remember how long I had to leave my dressing on, but once I could get the dressing off water didn't hurt at all. 

Be sure that your doctor is okay with immersing your incision, especially in river water. This has the small chance of introducing microorganisms, as opposed to a clean shower. 

to shower or not

by new to pace.... - 2021-05-09 14:21:38

Certainly go and enjoy the time with your friends.  As to the river probably best not to go in as you do not know what is lurking in the water.  Just to be on the safe side cover your incision from the sun.  Defintely no rope pulling yet. 

I would take the shower just not have the water directly on the incision. Do not rub on it pat it dry.  I had that glue also.  Which will fall off when ready.

Do keep your arm moving you do not want a frozen shoulder.

new to pace




To shower or not

by KatieG - 2021-05-09 15:44:09

Hi. I also had my implant just over 3 weeks ago. I was told to wait a couple of days after my second dressing was removed, before having a shower. So that was about 5 days after the procedure. But I had dissolvable stitches  - not sure if that makes a difference. I was careful at first to not get the wound too wet, and I gently patted it dry with a soft towel. But it didn't sting at all when the water hit it! Now the wound is fully closed and I've been gently washing the area in the shower, with no problems. I think I'd agree that river water is probably not a good idea, as you never know what's in it. Hopefully you can still have a fun day with your friends! Take care x

What's in the water

by Persephone - 2021-05-09 20:59:06

GillCat, I'd be most concerned about what's in the water.  I don't know what body of water you're planning to be in, but here in the mid Atlantic US there are some waterways in beautiful and otherwise seemingly pristine areas that often have a high bacterial count, mostly from mass farming activities that don't properly control their runoff of manure.  Of course urban areas have their own waterway issues.  If there are signs posted to not consume the fish that one may harvest from the waterway, that is a pretty good indication not to go in the water with a wound that may still be healing.  

Enjoy a swim or shower or bath in water that you know is clean :)


Swimming pool

by RichardFarrer - 2021-05-10 05:09:31

I'm not quite three days post op, so haven't taken off the bandage yet and I avoid getting it wet. When I start to be more active I'm wondering about going to the gym to swim. As the water is treated I assume it will be OK. I'm more wondering about the styles I do - breast stroke, front crawl and back stroke. All involve a lot of arm movement so I imagine I need to leave it for a while?


by Gemita - 2021-05-10 06:37:08

Richard you might be best posting as a separate message where others can clearly see your post rather than asking your message within a message.

When you are fully healed (usually by six weeks) your wound is fairly safe and the pacemaker leads should be firmly bedded in.  You need to consult your doctors about when you can safely return to your normal activities since they will know your condition best.  Do ask them whether you can safely swim after six weeks.  You may feel a bit uncomfortable stretching at first so you would need to ease yourself back into swimming gently


by RichardFarrer - 2021-05-10 11:12:46

Thanks for your advice, Gemita, it answers everything I needed to know. This was my first time on the forum and the previous questions sparked my query so it seemed appropriate to add it to the thread. If I have any other questions I'll certainly start a fresh thread.


by dwelch - 2021-05-15 01:17:46

Nothing is going to hurt as much as alcohol as already pointed out.  The shower might hurt depending on the force of the spray as it is probably still sensitive to the touch.  If the strips have come off, you can shower.   

Like with a new tattoo for folks that have them dont go in the river/ocean right after.   go have fun, but bring some good tape and plastic and cover the device even if that looks silly...clean shower water you are probably more than ready for.  River water, ask the doc. or even better plastic bag, good tape, bring some of those alcohol pads and wipe it all down right after.  A few months from now definitely and maybe weeks from now possibly, no problem all the river water you want.


newbie also

by finsfan1012 - 2021-05-19 12:22:03

I had my pm implanted april 8th 2021 and no showers for first 2 weeks,,, then i put my showerhead on the gentlist setting, and all went well,,, I am NOT allowed in a pool, ocean any body of water till JUNE 30th,, the NP told me even though your incision looks healed,, there could be microscopic openings where germs, etc can get into the incision,,,, after all this does go straight to your heart !!!  I would not be going into any strange water for a while !!!!  

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